Former BJP President Nitin Gadkari speaks about being a devoted RSS swayamsevak, Narendra Modi’s appointment as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Uttar Pradesh government’s role in Muzaffarnagar communal riots with The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
Are you a swayamsevak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or a BJP worker?
I am RSS swayamsevak and a BJP worker. There is no meaning in saying that if am a Sangh swayamsevak then I am not BJP worker.
Narendra Modi was appointed as Prime Ministerial candidate. It’s a decision of RSS.
Narendra Modi is a pracharak of RSS, and he has worked as a BJP worker. After becoming Gujarat CM, he got an opportunity to do development. The country and party workers want Modi to be PM candidate. The RSS never interferes. We are devoted swayamsevaks. We understand indications. But RSS office bearers never give any indications.
There are differences between Modi and Advaniji.
Modiji’s leadership has been nurtured under Advaniji’s. After Gujarat riots, Vajpayeeji wanted that Modi should resign, but Advaniji gave him a life line. Advaniji does not personally oppose him (Modi).
Don’t you think the issue is Modi versus the rest now?
There is a wave in the country these days. People want somebody to come who can take decisions. Congress is spreading poison. Riots happened in Uttar Pradesh and other places. Modiji is not responsible for any riots. People are running a campaign against him. Narendra Modi has followed the rule of law.
Why doesn’t he ask for forgiveness?
Why should he ask for forgiveness? He has no need to demand it. Today, so many people have died in Uttar Pradesh, then why don’t Akhilesh and Mulayam demand forgiveness?
You said that Akhilesh-led government should be dismissed. Why wasn’t Modi-led government dismissed?
When the government is responsible, it should be dismissed. Modi government was not responsible. The Uttar Pradesh government is spearing the poison of communalism and making Hindu and Muslims fight with each other.
But in the video that was circulated, one could see your leaders too, also leaders of other parties.
The government is biased against our party workers. Government is working with vindictiveness.
Earlier the party slogan was bring BJP to power, save the country. Now it is bring Modi to power to save the country.
He is our Prime Ministerial candidate. It is one and the same thing.
You all people have started idolising Modi.
There is no idol worship in BJP.
Why was Amit Shah sent to Uttar Pradesh. Has he not seen it?
I took a decision to make Amit Shah the general secretary. He is a sorted out and responsible person.
There is a new fashion. People are handed out caps by the party. Isn’t it appeasement politics?
BJP is not against Muslims.
Would you contest elections?
I will contest elections from Nagpur. There was a discussions in IBN Marathi. Some people had made comments about me. That time I took decision to contest elections.
Other leader too would contest elections.
Yes, all would contest.