He is up against one of the most talked about candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and although the Congress terms his opponent Nandan Nilekani, the billionaire technocrat-turned-politician, as a ‘giant killer’, senior Bharatiya Janata Party Anath Kumar leader remains unperturbed.
The five time MP from Bangalore South says he feels no threat from Nilekani, the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India. “People may seek change, but the change they want is at the Centre”, a confident Kumar tells Rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa in this exclusive interview.
On Nandan Nilekani:
The Congress is not a match. Nilekani has a lot to take on. There are issues such as corruption in the United Progressive Alliance government, price rise and also unemployment. He is not a threat to me, instead the programme which he heads, Aadhar, is a threat to the country.
Aadhar should be done away with as it involves the data of Indian citizens held by some company in the United States of America. This was also rejected by the Supreme Court, but the UPA stubbornly went ahead with it.
To be honest, I would not take pride in stating that I was part of the Aadhar programme. In fact I would be ashamed of it.
On the (Narendra) ‘Modi wave’:
There is a huge Modi wave across the country. The wave is such that the Congress has run away from the battle. He is a tried and tested leader, and he will help the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance a great deal.
There is a desperate need for change and people want that change at the Centre. Modi will provide that solution. The people will give Modi above 272 seats and out of this more than 20 will be from my state, Karnataka.
What I get to see is unconditional support for the BJP and Modi. The people are fed up of this Congress government which has only contributed to price rise which affects the common man on a day to day basis.
The people will vote for a change and no body can stop Modi from becoming the prime minister. It is the youth in the age group of 18 to 25 who will decide the fate of these elections. All these youth see Modi as an icon or rockstar and they will ensure that he will become the PM of this country.
On his anti-incumbency:
There is no anti-incumbency against me. Instead it is pro-incumbency and history will show that barring once in 1989 all the other candidates who have won from here have been non-Congress leaders.
The voters of my constituency will support me and I am confident of that. This election will be a shocker for the Congress and it will get less than a 100 seats.
On L K Advani vs Modi:
There is no anti-Modi stand in the BJP. The decision to appoint Modi as the PM candidate was a unanimous one. If there are two opinions then that does mean it is dissidence.
The only discussion that happened was about the timing (of the announcement) and not about the candidate. We were thinking of whether to announce a PM candidate before or after the elections. Modi has the entire party’s blessings.
On the re-induction of B S Yeddyurappa into the BJP:
The BJP is a united front today in Karnataka and this has made our campaign stronger. People may say a lot of things but there is no diverting from the fact that this election will focus on the corruption of the UPA government.
There was 2G, Adarsh, coal gate, etc. All these will be and are issues during this election and that is the bigger picture.
(Former chief minister of Karnataka who recently returned to the BJP after merging his newly-formed Karnataka Janata Paksha) B S Yeddyurappa had provided a pro-people government in Karnataka and now the people want to see the BJP at the Centre and nothing will stop that from happening.
Image: Senior BJP leader and Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar