Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Arun Jaitely answered questions from rediff.com readers on the forthcoming assembly elections and also the ramifications of the Malegaon blast probe on November 25
Faiz asked, rather than diving India don't u think that u should work towards improvng country's financial scope and improve the expenditure on Infrastructure services?
Arun Jaitley answers: the management of the Indian economy under Mr Vajpayee's government itself is an example of NDA and the BJP's commitment to give fillip tp the growth process It is the COngress which has been incapable of taking any decisions relating to the economy. Earlier the Left blocked it, and now, when the country is in the midst of an economic crisis, both the prime minister and the finance minister lack the ability to be decisive. The "dream" team now conveys to the country only horror dreams.
Faiz asked, hi Mr.Jaitley do u think Mr.Jaitley that ur Hindutva policy dividing the whole secular country on the basis of religion will create a good environment in future of India?
Arun Jaitley answers, The BJP represents the nationalist school of thought in Indian politics. Hindutva does not represent any theocratic ideology. The BJP believes in equality based on religion. Every man is entitled to a full religious protection. A political position against terrorism, against Bangladeshi infiltration, or on destruction of a cultural legacy represented by the Ram Sethu, is politically a correct stand. It is the perversion in the definition of "secularism" where majority bashing is considered the only criteria for secularism. The BJP rejects this concept.
Modi_fan asked, Sir, don't you think BJP has a better chance at the next elections if it projects Mr. Narendra Modi as the PM? That would enthuse the younger voters!
Arun Jaitley answers, He is a very competent and senior leader of the BJP. He is amongst the most popular, most successful chief ministers in the country. The BJP is a structured political party, which collectively takes a decision. The BJP is led by Shri L K Advani as a part of its collective decision making.
Pushpa asked, How would the BJP have tackled the presene economic crisis had it been in power? And what will be the plank on which elections of 2009 will be fought?
Arun Jaitley answers, Well, to tackle the present economic crisis, the BJP has already released a detailed action plan publically. The govt's decision making has been paralysed. The immediate three steps required would be 1) Lowering of interest rate to 3 per cent to improve market liquidity 2) To undertake a huge infrastructural investment by the central govt thus generating economic activity and 3) To tackle inflation there has to be a noticeable reduction in the petroleum diesel and kerosine and gas prices. PArticularly in view of the global decline of crude oil prices. 2001 had witnessed an economic slowdown. The Vajpayee goverment mooted the national highway development programme and the rural road connectivity programme precisely to tackle the slowdown of 2001. These became flagship programme for the country.
deepak_mact_rec asked, Mr Jaitley, May I know core values of BJP?? I mean what do you stand for?? And what are the future goals you have for the people of the country?? Please keep it short and give us the true answers no diplomatic answers please
Arun Jaitley answers, The BJP is an "India first" party. We stand for a strong and a tough approach to maintain the sovereignty of this countr.y We stand for equality of all and appeasement of none. We are committed to a value based politics. We are pledged to work for an accelerated economic growth.
loser asked, What are your reactions to the Malegaon blasts probe?
Arun Jaitley answers, The BJP believes that in any investigation the law should ordinarily take its own course. If a charge is made, it has to be honestly investigated. Unfortunately, honest investigations in sensitive matters is now becoming a casualty. Leaks by the ATS have rendered its functioning unprofessional. The impression created by some of the leaks is that there is a huge indiscipline and insurgent activities by the members of the armed forces. The manner in which these leaks have been made have hurt the integrity of the Indian armed forces. This will bring smiles on the Pakistani faces. a fraudulent leak by the ATS relates to the alleged involvement of people arrested in the Malegaon case in the Samjhauta case. Thsi false leak helps the real accused in defleccting attention from their culpability. IT weakens India's case against Pakistan where we ve been demanding the handling over of the Samjahuta accused. After planting this case, the ATS issued a denial. These are some illustrative cases. Indian agencies must learn from the fiasco in the Arushi case. An initial bravado not being sustained by subsequent investigations destroys the very credibility of an investigative agency.
raman asked, Does the BJP support the accused the the Malegoan blasts?
Arun Jaitley answers, There is no question of BJP supporting any person who takes the law in his own hands. It is improper for the government and the ATS to start branding the whole community as a terrorist. There is no place for terrorism in any civilised nation.
goel asked, What do you think of the MNS and Raj thackeray?
Arun Jaitley answers, The MNS has been encouraged by the Congress to split the Shiv Sena vote. It is precisely for this reason that hte MNS has been allowed to go unchecked. Every Indian has a right to settle in any part of the country. He cannot be stopped from doing so. Our system doesnt discriminate on the basis of religion or language. There is equality in the matter of employment. Such parochial appeals have to be discouraged.
amol asked, Today no one is taking care about what ever is happening in KASHMIR all are trying to take our KASHMIR but the Politiations have no time from DELHI and MUMBAI what is your VIEW dont u think all are running behind money.
Arun Jaitley answers, The elections in Kashmir Valley have proved the BJP right. We had opposed the postponement of the elction once the avenue of demorcatic activity is available to the people the separatists stand exposed. Increase the space for democratic polity, emphasise on the economic growth of JK, and rehabilitate the KAshmiri Pandits back in the Valley. The peace process initialted by Mr Vajpayee must be accelerated.
raonkasked: . What do u think of Obama's victory?
Arun Jaitley answers, Firstly, HE has changed the American and the global mindset with a non-white leading the world's most powerful nation. Secondly, his emphasis on small donations towards political fund collection has taken us back to the old system. IT will discourage lobbying as an instrument of effective politics in the US. It's also an example for politics in other countries.
RAM KUMAR asked, Sir, I am asking Fourth time.Sir, If you come into power will you declare Telangana? or once again you cheat the people of Telangana?
Arun Jaitley answers, Our experience of smaller states in the past has been a successful one. HImahcal, Haryana, CHhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, are living examples of small states which are prospering. TElangana is a neglected region. A grant of statehood. @general elections: We are looking forward to the next general elections. The earlier the better. The government will face a huge nationwide anti-incumbency. Terrorism goes unabated in India. THe BJP's campaign will be "a save India" campaign. We hope to increase our allies. The AGP and the INLD have already joined the NDA. THe RLD leader Ajit SIngh has hinted at an alliance. We are looking for more allies. The DEc 8 results will accelerate that process.
deepakbhilai asked, why there is no clearity and why BJP is silent on the issue of Sadhwi pragya devi?
Arun Jaitley answers, Mr Advani has spoken on the allegation she has made with regard to torture. Let the government produce the evidence against her. The country expects evidence and not propaganda.
Arun Jaitley says, Thanks one and all. I am sorry I couldn't answer more of your questions. Hope to speak to you all on Rediff Chat soon again.