‘People don’t see the Congress fulfilling their aspirations’: Onkar Singh Lakhawat

Published : Apr 27, 2024 19:00 IST - 4 MINS READ

Onkar Singh Lakhawat.

Onkar Singh Lakhawat. | Photo Credit: By Special Arrangement

Senior BJP leader and Convener of the Lok Sabha Co-ordination Committee for Rajasthan says the NDA will win all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the State.

In the months of March and April, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Jaipur, Rajasthan, saw a relatively large contingent of Congress members, ex-ministers and legislators joining the party. One of those to welcome these leaders was Onkar Singh Lakhawat, senior BJP ideologue, former Rajya Sabha member and party-appointed convener for co-ordinating the Lok Sabha campaign in the State. Lakhawat was unperturbed by the optics around the influx of members from other parties into the BJP. He was confident that there was no threat of anti-incumbency, that inflation was a global issue and not India-specific and that the BJP would win all 25 seats in the State. Excerpts from an interview:

Many Congress leaders are joining the BJP. What kind of signal does this give? Is the party running short of candidates?

No one wants to be associated with a political party [the Congress] that is obstructionist. No one can tolerate the criticism of the country and its leaders abroad. People don’t see the Congress fulfilling their hopes or aspirations. Our efforts [to bring people in the BJP] will continue. Our policies are the country’s policies. 

Also Read | BJP faces uphill battle in Rajasthan as anti-incumbency and shifting alliances challenge its dominance

There is this feeling that people, especially some prominent businessmen who contested on Congress tickets, are joining the BJP out of fear of getting prosecuted by agencies.

There is no basis to this feeling. There is so much ill-gotten wealth with some people and some political parties. The law will take its own course with such people.

BJP workers are apparently unhappy with the importing of Congress people in your party. Sitaram Agarwal, a prominent businessman and Congress leader who fought the Assembly elections against the Deputy Chief Minister has now joined your party. Your comments.

Not a single BJP worker is unhappy. Every worker has resolved that he/she has to reach our ideology to every Indian and even to people outside India. We are not hungry for power or posts. We know that only few people will occupy positions; 99 per cent are foot soldiers. Whether it takes us decades or centuries, our efforts to take our rashtravaad vichaar and vichaardhara to every corner will continue. We consider the world as our kutumb (family).

The BJP won all 25 seats consecutively in 2014 and 2019; but there is reportedly an anti-incumbency factor against sitting MPs. Three of your party MPs lost when they contested the Assembly elections.

As far as anti-incumbency goes, there is no one who can say that Narendra Modi did not work. We do not promise that we will make lakhpatis of every person. We have taken measures for every section of society. We enacted the Women’s Reservation Bill. We have nominated five women this time. There is no reservation as of now, but we are moving in that direction.

The price rise of essential goods is a major issue among people. People believe that the Central government has done little to address it.

Inflation is a global problem. There are supply deficiencies and no one can ignore the ongoing war in certain regions. We are doing our best to keep prices of essentials under control.

Also Read | Rajasthan: Modi magic on test

Another serious issue is that of unemployment. People in the State openly talk about joblessness and the opposition parties too have been raising it in their campaigns...

There are two concepts of employment. One is that of government jobs and the other refers to employment opportunities. Our government at the Centre has generated many employment opportunities. We have enabled start-ups and offer easy loans to unorganised sector workers. Employment should not be conceived in terms of government employment only. There is another issue too. When big industrialists produce something, they decide the rates. But when Narendra Modi says that farmers can decide their own rates, the Congress opposes it. Under the PM-Kisan scheme, Modi has ensured that a certain amount reaches the bank accounts of farmers at the beginning of each month. What more do people need? Even salaried people do not make such commitments to their parents. There used to be a major water issue in the State.

Are you confident of winning all 25 seats?

Yes. Absolutely.

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