Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja said that assembly election results reflect people’s unhappiness with the BJP government and that the Congress would have fared much better had the leadership change happened well in time. She talks about the party’s prospects and the way ahead in an interview with
Do you think delay in leadership change dented the party’s chances?
We are happy with the results and would have been happier had we got a clear majority. Had the changes happened earlier, we would have got more time for campaigning, planning and deciding things.
How do you see the results?
Actually the BJP didn’t have anything to show to the people. They were in government for five years and had no development work to show to the people, otherwise they would not have gone to the people with issues like nationalism, Article 370 or NRC. The BJP was not connected with issues on ground. There is huge unemployment but the chief minister (Manohar Lal Khattar) was always in denial mode. Crime graph has increased, BPL cards were not issued to people, farmers were promised direct transfer of money every time during harvest (which was not fulfilled).
Do you see the prospects of formation of a non-BJP government in Haryana?
Two months back, the BJP was leading in 79 seats (based on Lok Sabha assessment) and today they have gone down to 40. It shows the people did not support them. The BJP is isolated as the mandate is against it. Non-BJP parties should come together to form the government.
Any takeaways from this election?
Every election poses new challenges and we also learn. What people think is important and we should learn that from these results. The BJP won an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and where are they today? You cannot take the people for a ride and every state has different issues. Your old idea did sell at some point, but you cannot keep your eyes shut on economic slowdown as it is pinching every section of society and ultimately everyone is a consumer. Every section of society is having issues with this government, as the results indicate.
Will this be a morale booster for the Congress?
Workers are enthused. This will also pave the way for the rest of the country — that you have to wake up and stand up.