We take elections seriously, not Rahul Gandhi: Prakash Javadekar to WION

File photo of Prakash Javadekar. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2019, 01.13 PM (IST) Kartikeya Sharma

Union minister Prakash Javadekar has said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi will lose Lok Sabha elections from Amethi and this is the reason why he chose to contest from Kerala's Wayanad too.

"Legally and as per the practice strategy, anyone can fight from two constituencies. The issue is not that he is fighting from Wayanad, the issue is why he has ran away from Amethi. Because we won all the panchayat elections, zilla parishad elections and other major elections in the last five years. Also, Smriti Irani has worked hard. So the people are with us. Amethi has defeated his uncle Sanjay Gandhi and I'm absolutely sure that Rahul Gandhi will lose from Amethi," Javadekar told WION.

When asked about Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into mainstream politics, the Union HRD minister said, "She can fight elections from anywhere. She has campaigned in last three general elections but could not achieve desired results." Javadekar also said that the BJP takes elections far more seriously than Rahul Gandhi.

Javadekar, who is also the in-charge of Rajasthan, said that like 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP will sweep all 25 seats in the state. The senior minister said that reverses faced by BJP in assembly will not affect the general elections as issues are different today. He said that in 1999, the BJP and Samajwadi Party alliance did very well in Lok Sabha elections but lost the government in Maharashtra as people cast their votes differently for the Centre and the state.

He insisted that the BJP will increase its tally in the Lok Sabha and also refused to give much credence to BSP-SP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

Javadekar admitted that nationalism has indeed become an issue in the Lok Sabha elections "but it does not mean that BJP has given up on sabka saath sabka vikas". "Economic progress remains central to BJP manifesto, but India requires a terror free environment to develop. Narendra Modi has provided that environment," he said. Javadekar also said that elections of 2019 will give a clear mandate to Narendra Modi as there is no other leader who stands as tall as him.

Speaking on issues such as Articles 370 and 35(A), which grant special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Javadekar said that BJP has not changed its ideological position on these two issues for the last 50 years.

"As the mandate was fractured in Jammu and Kashmir, we decided to experiment, but we parted ways when we felt that we will have to compromise on core issues. People in India want Jammu and Kashmir to be treated like any other state," he said.

He also said that NDA is opposed to restoration on pre-1953 status and would oppose it at any cost. The demand made by some Jammu and Kashmir parties, including the National Conference, talks about greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir which is vehemently opposed by BJP.