‘Kejriwal’s tactics of sitting outside peoples’ homes, abusing everybody, this will pull down our democracy’
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In this Idea Exchange, BJP president Nitin Gadkari speaks about the party's stand on economic reforms, the media focus on Kejriwal and the BJP's strategy for the 2014 elections. This session was moderated by Assistant Editor Ravish Tiwari
Ravish Tiwari: Lately, the BJP seems to have lost its reformist zeal. Are reforms not good politics?
Nitin Gadkari: In this country, it is thought that if we oppose one set of reforms, we are against reforms totally. When we opposed FDI in retail, it was said that the BJP is anti economic reform. We want FDI in infrastructure, power. The rupee is going up against the dollar. We have to lower it. For that, there are some indigenous solutions. We import gold to the tune of Rs 2.40 lakh crore. I am told we have 23 goldmines with deposits. If we use Australian and Canadian technology to mine them, we won't have to import gold. We should auction them and bring foreign technology for all the mines, extract as much gold as possible, and save imports worth 2,40,000 crore. This will help prune the account deficit, and strengthen the rupee against the dollar. So we want development, we want FDI, we want administrative reforms. Compare UPA-ruled states and NDA-ruled states on economic parameters. The major contribution to the GDP is from our states. We have encouraged FDI everywhere. Gujarat has invited industry from all over and brought in investment. So we are not against economic reforms. But bringing in FDI in retail now is a political conspiracy of the Congress to divert attention from the taint of corruption against them. When Pranab Mukherjee was finance minister, they said that without dialogue with all the stakeholders—state governments and Opposition parties—we will not implement FDI in retail. Anand Sharma said this in the Rajya Sabha and Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha. The UPA betrayed us and committed a breach of trust. Now they have started to talk about the pension and insurance bills. After saying this in the House, Pranabji became the President of India. As a former UPA finance minister, he had given a commitment on behalf of the UPA. He should tell them that their behaviour is incorrect. This is the government's diversionary tactics. Also, they don't have a majority any longer. So they don't have the moral authority to introduce major economic decisions. Even their alliance partners disagree with them. This is the 'Singham' mode adopted by the PM. We will not be party to this political conspiracy and game plan. First, they must deliver what they promised us in the House. But we are not against reforms.
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