'Mamata Banerjee was an anti-body that the people of West Bengal needed to throw the CPI-M out.'
'Though the disease is no more, we are suffering the anti-body. It is a punishment for the people of this state.'
West Bengal's veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tathagata Roy is certain that his party will pull a few surprises in the state this Lok Sabha election.
Contesting from the elite Kolkata Dakshin Lok Sabha constituency, he is pitted against the sitting member of Parliament, Subrata Bakshi of the Trinamool Congress.
Roy is a member of the BJP's national executive, the party's central policy making body. His brother Saugata Roy will contest the election on a TMC ticket.
Though Tathagata Roy agrees the battle for him is a tough one, he feels the TMC's overconfidence will make the party lose a few strongholds in the state.
In an informal conversation with Indrani Roy/Rediff.com, the BJP leader spoke about Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee among other issues.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been spewing venom about the BJP.
Mamata Banerjee as a state leader is disastrous.
She has outlived her usefulness by throwing the Communist Party of India-Marxist out.
She was an anti-body that the people of West Bengal needed to throw the CPI-M out.
Though the disease is no more, we are suffering the anti-body.
It is a punishment for the people of this state.
Moreover, she has no control over the goons that inhabit her party.
There is violence everywhere.
Murders happen at the drop of a hat.
I don't mean to say that there was no violence during the CPI-M regime.
But the latter, because of its discipline, could maintain some secrecy and could hide some skeletons in the cupboard.
Banerjee's Trinamool Congress lacks that tact and finesse.
The party suffers from disorder and infighting.
Moreover, some local TMC leaders have become too high-handed like their didi and that is going to make the party lose a few strongholds this time.
Speaking of infighting, disagreements in your party has come out in the open...
Every party has fights within it.
Even a party as regimented as the CPI-M saw rebellion in (Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan (Leader of the Opposition in Kerala), Somnath Chatterjee (former Lok Sabha Speaker) and Abdur Rezzak Mollah (former West Bengal land reforms minister).
But most parties conceal the disagreements.
However, the BJP, because of its internal democracy, lets the fights come out in the open.
But once the party's central leadership takes a decision, each member abides by it wholeheartedly.
One must remember that internal democracy is the BJP's strength, not weakness.
You have been pretty vocal about why India needs the BJP at the Centre and Narendra Modi as prime minister...
I feel that any alternative to Modi stands for chaos.
Some Congress members themselves are in doubt if Rahul Gandhi is the apt prime ministerial candidate.
Mamata made the whole nation laugh by speaking to 10,000 empty chairs in New Delhi's Ramlila maidan.
The nation doesn't trust either (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) J Jayalalithaa or (Samajwadi Party leader) Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Moreover, we have seen many ayarams and gayarams like V P Singh or H D Deve Gowda from regional parties in the past.
Only Modi can usher in permanence at the Centre.
And I am sure people of this country understand that.
Talking of the Anna Hazare-Mamata Banerjee fiasco in New Delhi, the TMC alleges that your party pulled the strings.
The TMC, like its didi, is expert with allegations.
I think the Ramlila maidan episode can be best described as a 'tragedy of errors'.
Mamata wanted to convey her political messages to the people of the capital banking on Hazare's 'dwindling charisma' whereas the latter had assumed that the TMC leader would be a crowd puller.
Both ideas flopped and as a result Banerjee was forced to speak to 500-odd people only.
She became a laughing stock and her pan-India dreams were shattered.
What is your opinion of the Gujarat riots of 2002?
The Supreme Court has given Narendra Modi a clean chit in the Gujarat riots.
If we deny that, we deny the Supreme Court.
Why do we forget that it was Modi who brought in the army in record time to counter the riots?
But a section of the media tends to overlook this.
It is carrying on a strong anti-Modi campaign with an alarming consistency. I wonder if the campaign is being funded with West Asian money.
Why else would a group of people go after someone who has been a chief minister for years?
Do you mean to say that the communal tag attached to Modi has no basis?
It is time the Muslims understood that political parties that talk of their development actually use them as vote banks.
There are so many minority communities in India.
But none of them is as backward as the Muslims.
Be it the Congress, the TMC, the CPI-M -- all have given the issue of Muslim uplift lip service only.
Muslims are backward as the so-called secular parties want them to be backward.
When Mamata introduced dole for the imams in West Bengal, it was the BJP that moved a public interest litigation and soon after the court quashed Banerjee's disruptive religious decision.
As a political party, the BJP doesn't encourage any discrimination on the basis of religion.
It believes in political neutrality.
How well will the BJP fare in the state this time?
The BJP vote bank in West Bengal is rising and I am pretty sure that the party will pull out quite a few surprises this time.
Image: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.