Jitin Prasada interview | ‘BJP stands for India First’

Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on June 9, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

After switching from the Congress to the BJP, Jitin Prasada speaks to The Hindu about the 180 degree change in his ideology, Brahmin politics and the internal dissensions in Congress.

You said that you were unable to serve the people by remaining in the Congress. Why did you feel that?

It is not about why or what I felt, it is for everyone to see. The distance between the people of this country and the Congress party has been growing. Successive debacles in the polls in recent years clearly show this. We join politics to serve the people we represent, the area that we come from, the State that we belong to and, of course, the nation. It is not an overnight decision. I realised that I was not able to serve the people by being in the party that I was in. And on the other hand, I see, the BJP, which is a national party, not only its organisational setup, the way of its functioning, the institutionalised culture and process, it truly represents the sentiment of the new India. We have seen PM Narendra Modi’s popularity and people’s trust in him. I faced successive debacles in my elections. I won some, lost some. And the ones we lost, I can surely tell you that, the people didn’t want to connect with us.

How do you reconcile to an ideology which is a 180 degree change from the one that you have gone by, your whole life?

Times have changed, the only ideology today, I can say, is of national interest — India First. Like I have said, my decision is well-thought-out. Securing India’s boundaries and our national interests is best placed in the hands of our leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. With changing times and changing scenarios, people much bigger than me have moved parties. Lot of socialists and communists moved to the Congress at one point of time, a lot of Congressmen of the likes of Subash Chandra Bose moved out of the Congress. This is part and parcel of a vibrant democracy where things change shape for the better. Today, the BJP and PM Modi, are taking us to a point where India will be transformed and scale new heights. It is time that we all come together and strengthen the hands of PM Modi. If I was opportunistic and I was hankering for a particular post, I wouldn’t have waited for seven years. In other parties, and I will not name any in particular, it is the leaders who have made the parties instead of being the other way round. Everything revolves around these personalities. This satrap-centric politics weakens the idea of India. There is no policy, programme and no long-term growth.

In a recent interview to The Hindu, you had stated that the Yogi Adityanath’s government in Uttar Pradesh was anti-Brahmin, do you still stand by this view?

I was invited regularly and I participated in an organisation called Brahmin Chetna Parishad. In my interaction with people, I found there were a lot of grievances, people had various issues from jobs to police atrocities. I tried to amplify them, as an Opposition leader, so that they are heard. Now, being in the BJP, I will be in a better position to deliver, rather than just amplify. Not only about the community that I belong to but about every one. And I will try my best to address anything that is wrong and fulfil the aspirations of the people.

You were one of the 23 signatories who demanded reforms in the working of the Congress. Had those suggestions been implemented, would you have stayed back?

It is not about would I or would I not. I have pondered over this decision before taking the plunge. I have tried to do what I could in the Congress; I put forth my views but ultimately I had to take the stand.

The Uttar Pradesh elections are nine months away and there is a lot of resentment against the government over handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. What prospects do you see for the BJP under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in these Assembly poll.

I am very privileged and honoured that I have been inducted in the party. I can tell you that I will work as a dedicated worker of the BJP. I have seen the popularity of Narendra Modi, even from the other side of the fence. There is no easy or difficult victory. We strive and reach out to the people and I can see the sentiment on the ground. The BJP will return with a better result.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 10:20:16 PM |

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