Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja is confident that the BJP will fall short of its target in the assembly elections as they have failed to meet promises made in 2014. She negates any differences between young and old leadership. She tells Richa Sharma that Rahul Gandhi has left the office (Congress President) but continues to work for the party. Excerpts:
How confident is the party in Haryana with BJP raking up nationalism?
The BJP is raising these kinds of issues as they have nothing else to show for five years of governance. They have not done anything for the people of Haryana, be it employees, youth, women, farmers or others. People are losing their jobs, we are losing business and we are going to lose out on revenue.
What does the Congress have to offer?
Congress will be unveiling its manifesto in Chandigarh and we will bring out in detail what measures we are going to take to do away with the misery of the common people, the poorest and women, Dalits and farmers. We are going to see to it that the state is on track again.
Is rift between young and old in the party widening?
There is no divide as such. If anyone wants to ask a question within the party, they are always allowed to ask questions. So, we ask questions, seek answers, answers are given. You will appreciate ours is an open kind of party and there is always free flow of communication, unlike the BJP which is so closed that none dare ask a question.
Do you agree that the Congress provided space for BJP to grow in Haryana?
After ten years of Congress and UPA rule, here came somebody like BJP who was selling dreams and people thought why not a change and especially after ten years of governance. These people sold such lies to the people that people are not going to come to the thought about black money and farmers were told about double income but nothing has come. But all lies are exposed and people are going to ask uncomfortable questions and no one will be able to answer.
Do you agree with Salman Khurshid’s comments that Rahul walked away post-elections and assessment could not happen?
I won’t comment on this. When we had Congress Working Committees, people were free to say what they wanted to and many of them did say and many things were discussed. Changes have happened in many states going for elections. Just couple of weeks back, Sonia ji chaired meetings with leaders and number of issues were discussed.
Would things have been different had Rahul had continued as party chief ?
What did Rahulji said that he doesn’t want to hold the office and he is working and he is going to come to Haryana for campaign. BJP can’t find anything else to say and they target him. What would the BJP say that Modiji left the country for a week, when the country was going through so much economic turmoil and such distress? He was happily addressing and holding hands with Trump. He is closing his eyes to our own people and reality.
Do you think delay in organisational changes in Haryana hurt the Congress?
This is all part of organisation process and this will not have any impact on the election process. People who have been given opportunities were selected after the workers suggested their names.
Do you think Jat vote will split this time?
Congress has never done such kind of politics, we take along everybody. It is the BJP which plays divisive type of politics and try to split it but basically all Harayanvis are one and they look towards Congress to unite the society rather than the BJP that divides society.