‘People of Bengal see new ray of hope in PM Modi’s leadership’: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who oversees the BJP in the Northeast, spoke about the Lok Sabha elections, in which the BJP notched up gains in the region and West Bengal. Edited excerpts:

We have already won eight of the 10 seats in Assam and we have doubled the number of seats in the region. By that, it is clear that we have already exceeded our target.

The result of the Northeast was along expected lines for me so I am very happy about the results in Bengal. The way the people have voted, it seems clear Mamata Banerjee’s days are numbered and the people of Bengal will see a new ray of hope under the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

There were two or three reasons for that, according to me. People voted for Mamata in 2011 because she promised she will save the discourse, the politics of Bengal. The Left had criminalised the politics of Bengal and when they voted for her, they hoped for parivartan (transformation). Instead of doing that, she adopted the same culture of the CPM. This made the people very angry. They also didn’t like politics of appeasement. Bengal is one of the beacons of our civilisation. BJP has promised to the people of Bengal, “we won’t do appeasement politics.” You can praise God and you can praise Allah. It is model of sabka saath , sabka vikas

For example, Mamata encouraged ghuspaith( infiltrators) to come in. Then, she has started giving salaries to Imams. Can a democratic government pay salary to Imams? If so, then pay should be given to purohits too, not to one community. She has said on record, you cannot praise Lord Ram. If you can praise Allah, if you can praise all other deities, why can’t you paise Lord Ram? Isn’t he our civilisational hero? These are the symbols of appeasement.

There are many MLAs who want to come from TMC {Trinamool Congress} to BJP. Our party leader Kailash Vijaywargiya is on record saying that 50 MLAs are in touch with him from TMC. Our party has to take a decision whether we want to topple the government with their help or prepare for 2021{assembly elections}. The only thing to consider is whether Bengal will be safe for the next three years if she continues to encourage infiltrators.

I think the Congress lost its relevance in 2014 itself. When it came to 44 {seats in the Lok Sabha}, it required introspection, reinvention. but instead of that, instead of empowering grassroots workers, Sonia Gandhi only empowered her son and daughter. There was no attempt to democratise the party. Congress must realize in the 21st century, you cannot run the country in dynastic succession. Already they are in danger of going out of political landscape of this country and if they do not change now, that process will escalate.

That is not for me to say but the PM’s prerogative. As a party worker, I can say this win has happened because of the hard work of Amit Shah. He has expanded the party single-handedly in East and the North. Hopefully we will see further expansion of party in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

I think Amit Shah is on record saying I should be focus on the Northeast. I am willing to do whatever task is assigned to me by him and the PM.

First Published:
May 24, 2019 04:54 IST

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