New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that the BJP never promised Rs 15 lakh into people’s bank accounts during the campaign for Lok Sabha in 2014.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, Singh said, “Bilkul nahi kaha tha ki Rs 15 lakh aenge. Ye kabhi nahi kaha tha). We had said that we will take action (karyawahi) against black money. Action is being taken against black money. It was our government which made SIT on the topic of black money.”
This was Singh’s response to Opposition’s criticism that the NDA made promises to people but never fulfilled them.
On Balakot air strike, Singh insisted that caution was taken to prevent civilian casualties. He added that people should ask questions about it but “do not seek proof from security forces”.
Moving to the topic of income tax raids being conducted on Opposition leaders, Singh asserted that it wasn’t something that started happening now and has been going on for years. “It is unjust to say they are being done on somebody’s instructions.”
The Home Minister refused to react to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on the party manifesto that “The BJP manifesto is the voice of an isolated man,” and said, “I don’t think in India’s political history so many people were involved in the making of a manifesto, so what he is saying is baseless… he keeps saying such things, don’t take it seriously.”
Abrogation of Article 370 and 35a if it returned to power was one key feature of the BJP manifesto that drew a lot of flak, specially from the leaders in J&K. To former CM and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah’s statement that if Article 370 was removed then Kashmir may secede from India, Singh said, “Kashmir will never be separated from India; no force can separate Kashmir from India.”
Earlier, Omar Abdullah had said, “Will restore Wazir-e-Azam, Sadr-e-Riyasat posts in Kashmir if Article 370& 35A removed.” Singh reiterated, “We made it clear in our manifesto that if we come to power again then Article 35A will be abrogated. There is no question of two presidents and prime ministers in India.”
PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti had also gone on record that India would burn if Article 35A was removed. Singh said, “This is frustration, nothing else. She can say anything, but we will do what we have decided.”
“I want to assure it as the Home Minister, nobody needs to feel unsafe in India. Strict action will be taken against those who indulge in violence, irrespective of religion. In fact, I had said yesterday in Jammu, that safety of Kashmiris studying or living in any part of India is the responsibility of all citizens. Even an advisory was issued to all states regarding this.”
Rubbishing allegations that the BJP was a two-man team and one-man show, Singh said, “Of course the people who are party president and PM will be prominent. When I was the party president and Modi ji was PM candidate, then our names were taken, it is but natural.”
While acknowledging that L K Advani was a senior party leader who was “our source of inspiration”, to a pointed question whether the leader was briefed on surgical strikes and air strike as he had first initiated the ‘hot pursuit’ strategy, Singh said, “He already knows everything…Hot pursuit was a different strategy; in our strikes we struck specific targets without attacking Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
The Home Minister also expressed regret over BSP chief Mayawati’s statement seeking for Muslims not to divide their vote and end up benefiting the BJP. He said, “Politics should not be done on basis of Hindu-Muslim.Politics should not be done on caste or creed or religion.”
On reports that he or Nitin Gadkari could be the next prime minister if the BJP failed to get an absolute majority, Singh said, “These are all imaginary situations; it is ‘khyali pulao’ and nothing else. We will get a clear majority or even 2/3rd., Modi ji will be the PM, no doubt about that.”