The Tribune interview: Tarun Chugh, BJP national general secretary
Newly appointed BJP national general secretary, who belongs to Amritsar, terms Congress leader Rahul Gandhi a ‘part-time politician’ and Akalis the ‘real killers of democracy’ for supporting the farm reforms in private and opposing these in public. Speaking to Jupinderjit Singh, the leader expresses confidence that the BJP will form the next government in Punjab.
How do you view SAD-BJP alliance break-up?
The BJP has followed the coalition dharma. The Akalis spoke different languages in private and public. It is not ethical to break the alliance on the farmers’ issue and claim the moral high ground, while supporting the farm Bills earlier. They talk about democracy, but democracy died when SAD Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal supported the farm ordinances in the Cabinet only to oppose these outside.
Do you think BJP stands a chance in state?
The BJP got more than 16 per cent vote share in the 1992 Assembly elections when it contested 65 seats, with the Akalis boycotting it. Many leaders are looking to join us. We will form the next government in Punjab. Our fight will be with the Congress. The SAD may be third or beyond.
Harsimrat is insisting she gave a dissent note in Cabinet. What’s your take?
She not only supported, but advocated the legislations. Before the farmers’ protest, all top Akali leaders insisted the Bills were good. Even their patron Parkash Singh Badal issued a statement in favour of the farm reforms. For the Badals, the family comes first. When the NDA offered them a Cabinet seat, they proposed Harsimrat’s name, who is way junior in the party.
Senior Badal is saying BJP is tampering with federalism and killing democracy?
The BJP as well as the entire NDA have always held Badal sahib in high esteem. It is sad after supporting the farm reforms, he is using expressions like ‘danger to federalism’ and ‘black day for democracy’.
Rahul claims Modi government is selling India to corporates. What do you have to say?
Rahul is a part-time politician. He wakes up from slumber to venture on political tourism. He returns to enjoy his ultra-luxurious life style and waits for the next opportunity to embark on tourism again. Where was he when more than 120 persons died due to hooch?
Are reports that Sidhu may join BJP as the CM face in the 2022 polls true?
The Sidhus are more of a problem for the Congress than us. The cricketer-turned-politician’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu has indicated many times she wants to join the BJP. The question on Sidhu’s future should be asked to the Congress leaders, especially Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and state affairs in charge Harish Rawat.