BJP optimistic of making inroads in South India: EAM

He added that the BJP has released a great Sankalp Patra (manifesto), which is a strong document of the party’s performance in the last 10 years.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and LoP in Assembly R Ashoka address a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and LoP in Assembly R Ashoka address a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday Photo | Shashidhar Byrappa

BENGALURU: The BJP is “genuinely optimistic” about making inroads in South India, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said on Monday. 

“There is a huge response that Prime Minister Modi is getting in Karnataka. We have a good hold in Telangana, and we are also getting a good response in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Like the rest of the country, these states have also seen our record performance and delivery (of promises) in the last 10 years,” Jaishankar told the media. 

He added that the BJP has released a great Sankalp Patra (manifesto), which is a strong document of the party’s performance in the last 10 years. It is also a map for the coming five years and the pathway for the next 25 years under the PM’s vision of ‘Viksit Bharat, he added.

He underscored the importance of Bengaluru in making India the global hub of electronics, defence equipment, semiconductors, etc. When questioned about the (Modi) guarantees, Jaishankar said, “Our programme has been carefully evaluated and is national in outreach, unlike the competitive populism (the five guarantees by the Congress government) that one sees in Karnataka. Competitive populism is making promises when you know you can’t deliver them.” 

On the issue of drought relief to Karnataka by the Centre, he accused the Congress government of “misrepresenting facts” and said, “The responsibility for drought relief is with the State Drought Relief Fund. There is a Central component, and it was already given. Over and above such a relief, the NDRF can consider giving additional resources after evaluating circumstances and approval of the Election Commission.”

On the proposed US consulate in Bengaluru, Jaishankar said that he is “tracking” the process. 

We should handle the issue as neighbours, EAM on Maldives

“Neither they (Maldives) nor us (India) can wish each other away at the end of the day. We are neighbours. Sometimes neighbours become an issue in politics. We should have the patience and maturity to see that through. I am convinced that a more positive collaborative instinct will assert itself,” said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

He was interacting with chartered accountants, CEOs, scientists, architects and retired bureaucrats at a programme organised by Karnataka BJP Media Cell and Economic Cell here on Monday. Jaishankar was responding to a question on a Maldivian tourism body planning to do roadshows in India to woo back Indian tourists, whose numbers have declined.

“Neither of us is in a position to find ourselves a new geographical location, we are going to be neighbours forever. We should handle the issue with a certain degree of deafness. We need not respond to every provocation,” he remarked. “In the last many years, George Soros (Hungarian-American billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist) has spent money on many NGOs to disparage countries and bring forward his ideology.

Can we have a set of NGOs and think tanks to counter them with data?” former Infosys Chief Finance Officer T V Mohandas Pai asked Jaishankar. “India has started challenging a lot of ratings and reports that influence the sense of stability in India. They are doing real harm to the country,” Jaishankar replied. “If somebody bothers to go through it, you will find names of people who have been consulted and you’d be amazed how many reports are produced about India and how the same set of people is consulted - complete coincidence.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com