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'Modi's policies are strongly nationalistic'

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Coverage: Gujarat Votes, 2007
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December 06, 2007 21:48 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] maybe the Bharatiya Janata Party's last hope but he does not seem to have many supporters within his own party. Even the Sangh Parivar outfits are not too enamoured of the chief minister.

Part of the reason is Modi's highly personalised style of campaigning. Unlike most other regional leaders, Modi, in the five years that he has ruled Gujarat, has managed to carve an independent image for himself among his constituents.

And among his biggest backers in the BJP is general secretary Arun Jaitley, who has been assigned as the in-charge of the Gujarat election. For Jaitley, Modi can do no wrong, nor is there anything wrong with his style of functioning or campaign. Jaitley appeared on Rediff Chat to discuss the Gujarat election, why he believes Narendra Modi won't lose despite everyone ganging up against him, and his party's campaign.

Here's the chat transcript:

Arun Jaitley says, Good Evening, I am ready to take your questions.

raj raj asked, How you decided to deal with English media , who always defame modi and BJP?
Arun Jaitley answers, If a leader has credibility you can directly communicate with people and convey your message. if the messenger conveys a tinted message the messenger himself reduces his own credibility

Jaideep asked, Mr. Jaitley, Swapan Dasgupta recently described Mr. Modi as the only right-wing CM in India. If the BJP under Modi win in Gujarat would that give a boost to development based right-wing politics as against the decades old trend of patronage based left-wing policies across the country.
Arun Jaitley answers, Modi's policies are strongly nationalistic, development oriented and governance centric. However, while pursuing developmental agenda, the issues of underprivileged must be flagged and responded through various social and poverty alleviation scheme.

vibin asked, U have been out of lime light for past few months, now u r back. Why?
Arun Jaitley answers, I have continuously had responsibility in the party. This is my 3rd election this year which I have handled for the party. It was Punjab in February, Delhi municipal elections in May and now Gujarat in December. Besides this I also look after UP. I have my hands full.

psmmagr asked, Arun, Why congress lead by Sonia & media lead by Times of India is spresding so muh false information against performance of BJP in Gujarat & Modi in particular? The performance of BJP lead by Modi is good.
Arun Jaitley answers, A section of the English language media has been gunning for Modi. They have tried in almost every election. They haven't succeeded. Some have in this election even shed away the pretext of impartiality. But Modi has proved that media cannot dictate political agendas. Its primary job is to report fairly.

bimlesh asked, Mr. Jaitley, Why doest the BJP respond to false claims of congress of "hollow BJP promises" be reminding people of congress rules from 1950-90? Why hasn't BJP taken out reports of riots during congress rules for 50 years? Why doesn't BJP attack congress by showing them comparable data of living standards in BJP ruled states and congress rules states? I am sure all BJP ruled states have a better govt. Why not showcase that?
Arun Jaitley answers, I think it is time for Gujarat and all concern to rise above 2002 incidents. One riot cannot be a justification for another. Modi has governed Gujarat since the last elections without a single day curfew. Living standard of entire population has improved. The politics of development satisfies all. it is non-discriminatory and that is Modi's strength in this election.

toontoon asked, Hi Arun Ji, why are you wasting your time in a party which doesn't recognise your value?
Arun Jaitley answers, My values precisely hold me to the party.

brajesh asked, Sir, how many seats you think BJP will win in 2007 election?
Arun Jaitley answers, BJP will get a comfortable majority.

Anupam Mishra asked, Mr. Jaitley, I am a huge supporter of BJP but feel betrayed about some of the promises BJP hasn't kept and I hope when you win the Lok Sabha elections this time, you fulfill those promises that you made to your electorate-Uniform Civil Code, Abrogation of Article 370 for the State of Jammu and Kashmir [Images], Anti-Conversion Bill, Ram Mandir are some of those promises that you made to us, I hope BJP would fulfill those promises and I can see these happening in my lifetime. Will you keep those promises and will we see these four major promises that your party made in the first year of your Lok Sabha Tenure as I am sure BJP is going to win because of all the follies Congress is making.
Arun Jaitley answers, Please remember the reality of politics rather than ultimate ideological goal. To amend the constitution or the law, you need a huge majority in the parliament. You cannot do it as a part of a coalition government which coalition partners don't accept.

Vipin asked, What makes you think that a win in Gujarat will have its repercussions on the next Lok Sabha poll?
Arun Jaitley answers, If the BJP wins Gujarat and Himachal it will create a very good environment politically for approaching the Lok Sabha poll.

RamSevak asked, Sir, I am a big fan of you and your communication skills. We Hindus have a big faith in BJP but some how party is not fulfilling aspirations of us. Party seems to be divided & in fighting is killing the party in UP, Rajastha, MP, Gujarat... Because after a long time Hindus seems to be aware about danger to them and to an extent united.. If you guys do not come good, it will be a very very big setback to Hinduism in India & all over world ... What's your prediction about BJP's chance in Guj election?
Arun Jaitley answers, The cadres are united the workers are all one. There are aberration in few individuals not because of ideology but because of ambitions. I agree the strength of the party lies in being able to resolve them.

Ninad asked, What is the vision or image BJP has in mind for Gujarat for the next 5 years???
Arun Jaitley answers, Gujarat has already become one of the fastest growing states in India. The BJP's vision for Gujarat is to eliminate and banish poverty. Have an average growth rate of over 12 percent, double the farm income and further improve the upcoming infrastructure. Gujarat needs a decisive leader and determined governance which focuses on security and development.

Kuldeep asked, Good evening Mr Jaitley What BJP is doing about Mr Keshubhai Patel and all other senior members? Why they have not been thrown out of party yet?
Arun Jaitley answers, We expect all prominent party leaders to work for the party during elections. If somebody chooses not to do so we talk them and try to persuade them. Most people are working for the party. If a few don't it is a development about which very little can be done at this stage.

kishore1 asked, How does EC notice to Modi affect election
Arun Jaitley answers, It is a notice from constitutional authority. We will reply to it and raise important issues for the EC's consideration.

msnindia asked, Why does BJP always oppose Muslim . Muslim constitute near about 25 crore of India. Without Muslim support BJP cant make its own govt in centre. Will u do some thing in future to improve your anti Muslim image??
Arun Jaitley answers, The BJP is not opposed to the Muslims. It is opposed not to the minority but to the politics of minoritysm and it is for our Muslim friends to understand this issue.

Indian asked, one thing i asked you categorically sir, you always said that BJP is party of diffrence.but after the karnataka fisco you will still stick to your remark?
Arun Jaitley answers, We have set for ourselves a higher standard. At times, it is difficult to meet those standards. At times the standards are difficult to achieve but still we won't change our standards. asked, Mr. Jaitley, what do you plan to do with so many dissidents in the party after the elections?
Arun Jaitley answers, Rebels are becoming an increasing phenomenon in the country not because of ideology but because of ambition.

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