Watch | BJP is confident about winning over 400 seats: Piyush Goyal 

Watch | BJP is confident about winning over 400 seats: Piyush Goyal 

Veteran minister Piyush Goyal is excited to be a first-time candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections; he feels that this opportunity will help better him understand candidates’ psychology, allowing him to emerge a sensitive person 

Updated - May 10, 2024 03:06 pm IST

Published - May 09, 2024 05:30 am IST - MUMBAI

Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who has handled several portfolios such as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Railways, Finance, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and more, is all set to contest the Lok Sabha election 2024. The BJP candidate, who is contesting from the Mumbai North seat, is campaigning extensively every day. In an interview with The Hindu, Mr. Goyal said the election is going to be a clean sweep for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in all seats in Maharashtra.  

Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency, Piyush Goyal along with party leaders and supporters during the  Namo Rath Yatra for the Lok Sabha Polls, at Borivali, in Mumbai on May 8, 2024.

Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency, Piyush Goyal along with party leaders and supporters during the Namo Rath Yatra for the Lok Sabha Polls, at Borivali, in Mumbai on May 8, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

In your three decade-long political career, you have never contested direct elections before. What made you contest for this election when you have been a minister through Rajya Sabha? 

The party leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji thought that many of us who have been in Rajya Sabha for two or three terms should now look at going into the people’s court, getting connected directly with the people and in a way also experiencing the ground realities and situation, so that we can do our job better.   

As an MP, since 2010, you have handled several portfolios. How excited are you for yet another new role? 

I am hugely excited because for 40 years I have been working for the party in various elections in different roles, always supporting other candidates to get elected. This is the first time I am a candidate. It gives me an opportunity to understand candidates’ psychology and I think this will help me emerge as a much more sensitive person, getting on the ground, engaging and connecting with day-to-day issues. I am a Mumbaiker, so I am very familiar with the issues of Mumbai.  

I do believe that the advantage of public life and politics gives one the chance to impact millions of lives with one stroke of the pen. Therefore, for me, politics is a medium to make the difference that you wanted to see in others. We have been doing several initiatives under Prime Minister Modi’s guidance and leadership to implement very far-reaching improvements in different areas wherever I have served in 10 years.  

I am sure this new innings will give me an opportunity to look at newer areas. Modi Ki Guarantee Sankalp Patra talks about rehabilitating slum dwellers through redevelopment of their slums and redevelopment is obviously in-situ where they are already staying. Redeveloping those slums is so that low-income families can also get a good quality home.  

How do you assess your prospects in the Mumbai North seat?

Honorable Prime Minister doesn’t look at the elections only from the point of view of winning or losing. He tells us that we should look at this as an opportunity to engage with the people, get on-the-ground feedback, and understand the issues we need to address amongst them. So, while you certainly have a point that this seat is going to be pretty comfortable in terms of the popularity of Prime Minister, we’ve been going around the constituency for the election campaign, and the love and affection of people is phenomenal. The way people come out in large numbers raising their hands and slogans in our support is really encouraging.  

What are your views on Parivarwad, given that your father, former Union Minister, Ved Prakash Goyal was also in the BJP?

By Parivarwad, we oppose the reservation of certain positions or seats only for a family. We strongly believe that if a person comes up in public life on his own merits, despite having family members already in public life, they are welcome. My mother was an MLA for three terms from Matunga. She didn’t lose an election but chose to retire in 2004 as she had crossed the age of 65 and did not want to contest. Around that time, we did not have a candidate and when my name was suggested, my mother said, ‘over my dead body!’ She didn’t allow me to contest.   

My father was in the Rajya Sabha till 2008, he passed away the same year. Till that time, I was a small functionary at the local level in Mumbai. I have handled many large elections such as L.K. Advani’s first election in 1989. But there was no preference given to me because of my surname. The party in their wisdom took me to New Delhi as treasurer, then made me a Rajya Sabha MP. In 2012, Mr. Modi took me into his team in a small way in the Gujarat elections. I‘m proud of my parents, their contribution to the country and society. I‘m equally proud that I did not get any privileges with the ‘Goyal’ surname. 

Why did you challenge Rahul Gandhi to contest against you from Mumbai North constituency? 

Rahul Gandhi has been looking for a safe place or a perch to rest on. I can clearly see that he is losing from Wayanad. He would lose Amethi or Raebareli and wherever he competes from. Uttar Pradesh is totally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I was thinking that Rahul Gandhi should stand from four or five seats, so that at least somewhere he may have the luck to win a seat like the movie ‘Luck by Chance’, to secure a seat in Parliament.  

Most financial services are being shifted to the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City and people are uncomfortable with it. What do you want for the constituency and the city of Mumbai which is facing intense competition from Gujarat? 

That is all a figment of imagination of certain sections of the Opposition and maybe sometimes the media gets carried away with that propaganda. Mumbai is a compulsive investment destination; a powerhouse in terms of its various sectors where we are predominant, whether it’s trade or commerce. We have the Reserve Bank of India, SEBI, Bombay Stock Exchange and head offices of most of the banks here. I have lived in the city and seen it grow. The one constraint Mumbai always had was space. After Prime Minister Modi came to power and Devendra Fadnavis became Chief Minister, we set up the Atal Setu, something which should have been done 30 years ago but Congress never bothered about creating infrastructure in Mumbai. It was only after Mr. Fadnavis became Chief Minister that Mr. Modi could help Maharashtra create world-class infrastructure. Our metro will be larger than the New York metro. Look at the expansion of rail infrastructure and the coastal road. Mumbai is going to transform into a vibrant, international-class city.  

Three phase of polls are over, and it is seen that the BJP slogans such as ‘Ab ki Baar, 400 Paar’ and ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ have taken a slight backseat. Why has there been a shift in the talking points? 

Where do you see them taking a backseat? We are using it in every third line throughout my campaign because Modi ki Guarantee is worth its weight in gold. I have gone through the manifesto of the BJP in 2014 and 2019, our performance is outstanding. Almost everything written in the manifesto has been acted upon. We have delivered the Ram Mandir, initiated steps for the Uniform Civil Code, Citizenship Amendment Act, triple talaq and Article 370/35A. Today the country and the world trusts Mr. Modi. Everybody says, ‘Jo kehte hai, wo karte hai’. It is a guarantee cast in stone and gold. We will win with 400 plus seats.  

Some residents feel that once you are elected, you may move to New Delhi, which means their local issues will remain unattended. What do you have to say to those voters? 

That’s very silly propaganda that the Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) have been trying to propagate. Every member of Parliament must spend six months in Delhi because their job as a parliamentarian is in forming policy for the country. We have MLAs for the State government issues and corporators for local issues. I run so many departments all over the country. I cannot be there everywhere, right? We use video conferencing and there are a million ways to stay connected, thanks to Mr. Modi’s great thrust on Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobile phone access. 5G is spreading fastest in India compared to the rest of the world. I will be very deeply committed to North Mumbai, and I will be available for our people 24x7. This will be a great opportunity for me to transform Uttar (north) Mumbai into Uttam (excellent) Mumbai. 

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.