INTERVIEW | ‘We respect farmers, but they should let us campaign in hinterland’

Preneet Kaur says she always supported farmers but the final call will be with the government that comes to power and the farmers.
INTERVIEW | ‘We respect farmers, but they should let us campaign in hinterland’

Former Union minister of state for external affairs, four-time MP from Patiala and a scion of the erstwhile royal family, the 79-year-old Preneet Kaur is contesting as a BJP candidate from Patiala for the first time. The wife of former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh told Harpreet Bajwa in an interview that she always supported farmers but the final call will be with the government that comes to power and the farmers. Excerpts:

Farmers are opposing BJP candidates across Punjab. Why are they doing so?

The farmers have a right to oppose. However, it is also our right to be able to go anywhere; we should respect each other.

What is your stand on bringing a law on Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops?

Look, I do not want to say anything on this, we support them (farmers), we have always supported them, but the final call will be with the government that comes to power after the elections. The farmers should get what they deserve.

You have been an MP from Patiala for 4 terms. Are you seeking votes in the name of PM Modi or the works you have done for the constituency?

I am seeking votes based on works done by me for my constituency and also in the name of PM Modi — both because I seek votes for the party and party manifesto and I also seek votes on the relationship that I have with the people of my constituency. I cannot list the work I have done -- it is 25 years of work. I have full faith in the bond that I have with the people.

What are the main issues in your constituency?

One of the main issues is the future of our youth and employment. I am happy that PM Modi is creating opportunities where people can stand on their own two feet -- from the cart-puller to rural women. For instance, the ‘lakhpati didi’ idea is helping generate work as government jobs are very few.

For the first time, the BJP is contesting solo in Punjab. What are the party’s prospects?

I think the party will certainly do well to firm up its roots. We have a good platform with PM and the work done by him. We will perform very well.

Any possibility of a post-poll alliance with SAD as you and your husband Capt Amarinder Singh have been advocating?

I’m afraid I cannot say anything on that. It can be answered by the Akali Dal and BJP central leadership. Traditionally, there has been an alliance that keeps a ‘bhaicharik’ (brotherly) relationship between communities.

Punjab is witnessing a four-concerned contest. Will it benefit BJP?

You will have to wait until June 4, but we will do well.

Why did you join the BJP after decades of association with Congress?

Ideologically, BJP and Congress are different. As far as Capt Sahib, myself and my family are concerned, we have always worked for the people of Punjab. That is our ideology.

How do you rate the performance of AAP in Punjab?

Not very well; there’s nothing on the ground. Corruption is rampant and all the tall promises are visible only on billboards and advertisements.

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