‘Nagpur Is Mine, I Am Nagpur’s’: Nitin Gadkari Hopes To Win 2024 LS Poll By Record Margin – News18


Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari is aiming to win a hattrick from Nagpur in Lok Sabha Elections 2024. He snatched this Congress bastion away in the 2014 polls and cemented his position further 5 years later. This time, he has set a target of winning by over 5 lakh votes.

One may ask what really works for ‘Roadkari’, as he is lovingly called, in this part of the country? News18 caught up with the Road Transport and Highway Minister during his road show in Nagpur. Voting for the Nagpur Lok Sabha Constituency will take place on April 19 in the first phase of polls while the counting of votes will take place on June 4. Here are excerpts from the conversation with Gadkari:

Q: Mr Gadkari, you started at 10 am, it is almost 4:30 pm now. Has continuous campaigning in this heat drained you out or has the crowd’s response re-energised you?

Nitin Gadkari: There was so much enthusiasm in the crowd that I continued with the road show much beyond the planned route. People’s love and trust is the biggest asset for political leaders. I am proud that people who love me have acknowledged that I have never differentiated on account of caste, creed, religion, language. I felt the real meaning of the lines that I have often said before – Nagpur Mera hai aur Main Nagpur ka (Nagpur is mine and I am Nagpur’s).

Today in Jhopadpatti (campaign locality), the way specially abled, senior citizens, children all stood waiting for hours for me, I can never repay their debt.

Nitin Gadkari campaigns in Nagpur for Lok Sabha Polls 2024. (Image: News18)

Q: It is apparent that the people of your constituency appreciate the development work in the last decade. But your challenger, Congress ‘s Vikas Thakrey, is also looking at the caste dynamic. Dalits and Muslims are a significant section of the voters in Nagpur, plus the tribals and the Kunbis. How do you see this attempted caste consolidation against BJP?

Nitin Gadkari: Those who want to indulge in the politics of caste are free to indulge themselves. But people have become intelligent. They can see through this divisive politics. Nagpur has repeatedly reposed its faith in the party and the leader who practices the politics of Vikas (development), politics where anyone can benefit irrespective of which caste or creed you belong to.

They have tried this caste consolidation earlier too, it didn’t make any difference and I feel this time too people will support me and help me register a win with record-breaking margin.

Q: If BJP comes back to power in term 3, will you want to continue as Highway Minister or you wish to take up some other responsibilities?

Nitin Gadkari: That the party will have to decide.

Q: But is there any department close to your heart? Any project that you wish to complete nationally?

Nitin Gandkari: There are several projects. I have lots of ideas. But ultimately Prime Minister Narendra Modi will decide. I’ll fulfil whatever responsibility he gives me.

Q: Your party manifesto has just been released. One of the promised issues if voted back to power is One Nation, One Poll. What are your thoughts on the idea?

Nitin Gadkari: It is much needed. It is absolutely true that repeated enforcement of the Code of Conduct causes a lot of loss to the country. Holding one time election to Assemblies and Parliament is a welcome step. I feel it will hold the country well in terms of development.

Q: But there is a view that elections are a chance for people to make representatives hear their grievance and act on it. If prices are rising, for example, of petrol, diesel, steps are taken ahead of polls steps to bring them down. ONOP could mean people will have such an opportunity only once in five years.

Nitin Gadkari: That’s not how it is. Whenever there will be an election, there will be a performance audit of every government, the public will do it and will judge on the basis of it, and, hence, I feel that whenever there will be an election, the public will have the right to ask the important question. People will not keep a government which does not care about their well being. I believe people have the right to ask fundamental questions and their vote also will be well thought out. Those who won’t do good will be punished.

Q: Your party manifesto has been labelled a ‘jumla’ by the Congress. The opposition has questioned why there is no mention of poverty, unemployment. In fact, Rahul Gandhi has promised that if voted to power, his party will finish poverty in a wink!

Nitin Gadkari: People themselves are not taking him seriously, so where is the need to answer this question? His party is almost on the verge of extinction. I think he keeps saying all this out of frustration and disappointment.

Q: The Opposition alleges that their parties are being forced into extinction by IT, ED, CBI.

Nitin Gadkari: They are misrepresenting the reality, saying wrong things. The central agencies are acting as per their charter, as per available evidence. I can tell you with confidence and with full responsibility that the Prime Minister or anyone from our government does not dictate how the investigating agencies function. That is their own decision, their mandate.

Q: The other big issue in your manifesto is Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

Nitin Gadkari: Most countries of the world have their own civil code. This includes many Muslim countries also. I think all sensible Indians will welcome the decision of UCC. This code, once implemented, will be a very good step in the socio-economic transformation of our country and my belief is that this code will get very good support from people.

Q: These elections are happening when the world is seeing escalation of conflict from Russia-Ukraine to Israel-Middle East. How do you see India’s role?

Nitin Gadkari: I feel that in the times to come, the role of our country will be very important in the world. What we said in our G-20 meet was that there will be welfare of the entire world, we never said that there will be welfare of us alone. Our history, sanskriti (culture), virasat (history), talks about the welfare of the world, welfare of all and, hence, efforts to establish peace under the leadership of India will be in the world and it will be successful.

Q: You are convinced then that ab ki baar, it will be 400 paar (this time, it will be over 400) in India for BJP and 5 lakh paar for Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur?

Nitin Gadkari: Absolutely, 100 per cent convinced. We will get 400 plus seats under Modi ji’s leadership and I will definitely win in Nagpur by more than 5 lakh votes.


Source link

Back to top button