BJP Telangana president G. Kishan Reddy wants people of Telangana to support the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government for development of the region. He insists the party wants 50 per cent share in Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in the proposed tie-up with the TDP. In an interview, he shares his views.
You are not on the same page with your central leadership as far as alliance with Telugu Desam is concerned. Do you think the alliance will benefit the BJP in the long run?
Whenever political parties enter into a tie-up, there are bound to be benefits. But again, it would depend on the policies and other issues of those parties. In the past, we had a coalition of 23 parties at the Centre. In the State too, we worked together with TDP, CPI and CPI (M). In 1998, we got a vote share of 18 per cent in the State and 27 per cent in Telangana and won four Lok Sabha seats when we went alone. Again, we had an alliance with TDP in 1999, but won only seven Lok Sabha seats. The party suffered after joining hands with the TDP then and same was reflected in 2004 and 2009. In Telangana, 15 MLAs quit the TDP in the past. In these circumstances, I have my own views. In the country’s interest, the national party is thinking of an alliance and wants us to work together. We should have 50 per cent of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats and our central party agreed with our views. The BJP must lead in Telangana. Ours is not an individual-oriented but a democratic party and collective decisions are taken. Whatever the leadership decides, we will abide by it.
Now that the tie-up looks almost certain, how many seats do you expect the combine would win?
All the surveys have shown that a majority of people want to vote for the BJP. If we create confidence in people, we will get a majority of Parliament seats. People are with Narendra Modi irrespective of parties, regions or religion.
Is BJP overestimating its strength in Telangana?
We are not overestimating our strength and as State BJP president, I am not personally against any particular party. But naturally, I am interested in strengthening my party.
Apart from ‘Modi for PM’, what are your other poll planks?
If development has to take place in Telangana, Centre’s help is needed. To deal with problems relating to Gulf migrants, migration of lakhs of labourers from Mahabubnagar, fluoride-affected villages in Nalgonda and others, we need the Centre’s help too. Congress is a sinking ship and the BJP will come to power at the Centre. It is also committed to introducing BC sub-plan and ensuring implementation of SC/ST sub-plan.
TRS has demanded a special package for Telangana on the lines announced for Seemandhra. Do you also support the demand?
BJP has already demanded that similar concessions be given to Telangana. What is the point if only Hyderabad is developed and other places in Telangana remain backward? We want a Singareni Corridor to be established along Adilabad, Karimnagar and Khammam for promoting coal-based industries and generate employment.
What are the BJP’s plans to improve minorities and tackle Leftwing extremism in Telangana?
We have no problem with the minorities. We are not blaming them. We are only blaming Majlis party. It is responsible for communal riots and we are fighting against that party. Minorities want peaceful co-existence and nobody wants it to be disturbed. There is no issue as regards Naxals and we will solve if there is one.