BENGALURU: BJP MP from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya is taking charge as the party Yuva Mocha president on Monday. He has clear priorities, including expanding the party footprint in states where the BJP is not strong, helping it win an ‘ideological battle’ in West Bengal and training Yuva Morcha members to be effective political activists. “The BJP of tomorrow is Yuva Morcha of today,” he told The New Sunday Express.
What are your priorities as Yuva Morcha president?
The BJP has always expanded its footprint through ideological sangarsh. From two to 303 MPs, it has been a constant ideological battle. West Bengal and Kerala are very important to us. Victory here means victory of our ideology as these states were traditionally Communist bastions. My priority is to ensure an ideological victory in Bengal, consolidating our base in areas where we are strong and reach pockets of the country where we are not strong, whether it is Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha or the North East. Yuva Morcha will work as a bridge between the government and people, and ensure that every programme of PM is successful by making it a people’s movement. The BJP of tomorrow is Yuva Morcha of today.
Generally, youth are averse to politics. How do you plan to approach them?
Talented young people coming from modest backgrounds always feel that they will not get enough opportunities and success in politics because political parties function as dynastic entities. The BJP is an exception. Young people can feel confident that if they join politics their hard work, talent and effort will be recognised and they can be successful. Dynastic politics was the biggest disincentive for young people. Now that the BJP is breaking the mould at every level, it infuses confidence among youngsters and encourages them to invest their time and energy in politics.
As Yuva Morcha president, what is your role in Bihar and West Bengal elections?
Whether it is Bihar, West Bengal or any other state, it is important to give a political voice to the aspirations of young people. As a youngster who shares the same aspiration, I feel I can connect with them and together we will work for a better future for ourselves and the country.
Your first rally in WB turned violent...
The rule of law has been kept under suspended animation in WB. In the last two years, over 120 BJP workers have been murdered by TMC activists. Any form of democratic protest is not allowed, and the challenge before us is to save democracy and save the rule of law. We took out a peaceful rally demanding a corruption-free government, better employment opportunities and graft-free public sector appointments. But it was subjected to cruel police brutality by lathicharge, teargas shelling and even throwing of country bombs. Writing on the wall is clear and the BJP will form the next government in WB.
You came under fire for calling ‘Bengaluru epicentre of terror’...
My statement was deliberately misconstrued. My intention was to ensure that Bengaluru does not become a terror hub and that it should be protected. Over the last few years, there have been many arrests from Bengaluru, and it is becoming clear that elements from South India are using Bengaluru as a safe haven. DJ Halli and KJ Halli riots exposed the underbelly of this module. The Congress and JDS may have compulsions of vote bank politics, which prevents them from going hard on terror. But for me, the priority is the safety of Bengalureans.
Your critics accuse you of being divisive and often making politically incorrect statements.
Unfortunately, in our political discourse, saying the right thing or speaking the truth is being termed as politically incorrect. This has to change.
Congress accuses BJP MPs, including you, of not taking up state issues like GST compensation and flood relief with the Centre...
They don’t understand the basics of how GST Council functions. It has representation from all states, decisions are taken unanimously and the interest of every state is protected. Karnataka has always been a top priority for the Centre as it is the economic powerhouse. Bengaluru got the NIA centre and suburban rail project that was pending for the last 30 years. On devolution of funds, we have never been shortchanged. Also, look at investment by way of smart city projects, highways, IIITs and other institutions.