File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
'Rafale was never an issue for the people, it was an issue for Rahul Gandhi,' Rijiju said.
Minister of State, Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju spoke to WION's political editor Kartikeya Sharma amid the heatwave of the ongoing general elections.
Exuding confidence, on behalf of Bharatiya Janata Party, of registering a landslide win in this general polls, Rijiju attacked Congress party for spreading falsehood and claimed that "there is no alternative to the leadership of PM Modi".
WION: Your thoughts on Congress as the opposition this Lok Sabha polls
Kiren Rijiju: See, the country can't be tied in Congress' falsehood. Congress' slogans are just rhetorical statements and people of India are tired of the party. No one takes the party seriously, no one takes Rahul Gandhi seriously.
Congress' 'Garibi Hatao' campaign, has poverty gone anywhere? It has only increased.
There is no alternative to the leadership of PM Modi. There should be not even an iota of doubt that Modi ji is the man of the moment.
WION: Your thoughts on the candidature on Pragya Thakur
Kiren Rijiju: Any trial in India has its own process. I'm not gonna dwell on history, but the investigation was carried out under the guided supervision of the court... unless a person is prevented by the law why should that person be questioned?
The question is whether she is permitted or not? If she has been permitted then why should anyone make an issue of it?
WION: BJP's prospects in the northeast?
Kiren Rijiju: The region offers 25 Lok Sabha seats and with the help of our allies we should be able to touch 20. This is my fifth election and I'm going to increase my margins.
WION: Issues faced by the party in the region
Kiren Rijiju: Other than the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the party did not face any issue in the region. We have clarified that it is not northeast specific. Without a discussion, no bill will be brought. We introduced the bill knowing and assuring the people that there will be no damage.
WION: Is this election PM Modi versus the rest or against Rahul Gandhi?
Kiren Rijiju: There is no question of PM Modi being put with someone else. He must lead the nation, this country deserves him as a leader, needs him.
WION: So, do you think our parliamentary elections have become presidential in nature?
Kiren Rijiju: You have got to have a leader who has a vision, a mission and that is all.
WION: Does the BJP sees Rahul Gandhi as a contender?
Kiren Rijiju: Rahul Gandhi is a young leader of the oldest political party in the country. I don't want to comment, just want to say that people do not take him seriously and this is the reality. He takes politics as a part-time job. He comes, campaigns and goes for vacations. Politics can't be a part-time job, it is a full-fledged job, service to the people. He is not a person who can stir up a political party, he has crumbled under his own failure.
WION: Your thoughts on the Grand Alliance
Kiren Rijiju: These parties have come together only because Modi ji and the BJP have become popular. Why else will SP and BSP come together? Tell me, could there be any other reasons? Congress has failed, if it doesn't side with these parties, it will alienate; if it goes with them, it will begin to shrink.
WION: Any thoughts on the Kashmir issue?
Kiren Rijiju: See, it is not easy to comment on such a complex issue. The PM has already spelt out his mission and vision, let's hope it works. The BJP has given scope for everybody to come on board.
WION: Do you think GST and demonetisation gave the opposition something to pick on?
Kiren Rijiju: Those could be implemented only because of the strong leadership, it was not easy but necessary. People who were hit hard, naturally they were the ones to create an issue.
WION: Do you think Rafale is an election issue?
Kiren Rijiju: It was never an issue for the people, it was an issue for Rahul Gandhi. We have an honest PM, people know that.
WION: What about the Naga Accord?
Kiren Rijiju: It has moved, there has been progress. If things get delayed because of something, doesn't mean it has failed. I agree we could not sign the final accord, certain reasons are there but we have moved much more than what people had thought.