Afternoon Voice is a parallel and emerging media house that addresses and brings to you the well-analysed and detailed form of everyday issues in the city and its suburbs. Starting from today, we are unfolding the fresh new “Guest Editor Column” that will feature prominent political leaders from the state and others. We will interact with them and portray his/her views on current political and social developments happening across the country.
Today, we are honoured to feature BJP MP Gopal Shetty as our “Guest Editor”. In a personal chat with our team he has discussed his views on current political and economic scenario of the country. Here are the excerpts
Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in his recent published book “I Do what I do” has criticised Modi government for demonetisation campaign. He has also mentioned about warning the incumbent government about the post-demonetisation effect on our economy. What is your reaction to that?
I was also a member of the finance committee and we have discussed the necessity of demonetisation several times with the then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. In 2014, before the Lok Sabha election, RBI itself had supported demonetisation and it is evident in many news reports. The earlier Congress government didn’t have the guts to take this major economic decision. If he had any uncertainty with the decision of demonetisation he should’ve commented then and there rather than raising question after such a long time.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana Chief Raju Shetti has blamed the BJP govt of being ‘anti-farmer’ and also said that it is acting as a ‘Ravan’.
He has worked with us and he is a very good leader. Government is working for the welfare of farmers; we have started a process to write-off their loans. Raju Shetti took a hastened decision to quit BJP and I believe it was a wrong one. We will continue to work for the welfare of farmers.
Varun Gandhi has commented “Atithi Devo Bhava” and supported Rohingya Muslims to stay in India. Is the party planning to take any decision against him?
It might be his view on the issue, but I prioritise nation over anything. Rohingya Muslims have a bad history and India should not allow such community as they pose a major threat to our nation. I don’t want to comment on party’s decision on this issue. He belongs to a very prominent family of Indian leaders and I believe party will do the needful.
Since 2019 Lok Sabha election is just two years away, will your government ditch reforms and follow populism?
Our government has first generated electricity and then we are offering them to the needy persons. We have tried our best to offer electricity to the remote corners of the nation. Wherever it is not possible to offer we have provided “solar electricity’ as an alternative to that. Sometimes it becomes difficult to distribute electricity in the remote localities as they are located far away from power generation areas.
Bullet train will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad. How do you think this project will help the common people? And why did government think of connecting Gujarat with Maharashtra?
A major part of Mumbai’s businessmen hail from Gujarat. So to help those people and to promote business, projects like bullet trains are necessary. Bullet train won’t remain restricted to Gujarat but it will reach Konkan, Goa etc.
Toilets constructed between Dahisar and Borivali are in dire straits. Is there a lack of mechanism to clean and maintain them on a regular basis?
People’s expectation has exceeded. They view toilets in luxury hotels, airports and compare that to their own at home and again make comparison of that with public toilets. But this will not continue forever. Once government will build toilets in every home, there will be no need of public toilets. With proper education and mass awareness, we will surely be able to maintain hygiene and cleanliness.
While campaigning for 2014 Lok Sabha polls BJP had promised about development. However, Dalits and Muslims have lost their lives during their reign. Why do you think the people are feeling insecure in Modi’s India?
Hindutva existed even before BJP came to power. But this is a famous topic of debate now as BJP is in power at present. Even before the party came to power many Dalits, Muslims and journalists have lost their lives. During Delhi assembly polls, there was a speculation that a church was demolished but truth was different as no such incident occurred there.
When the promised Rs 15 lakh will be credited in to the common man’s account?
This Rs 15 lakh was an estimation of the government that will be delivered as overall development in future. This promise was not about any tangible amount, people will derive benefits equivalent to amount in the form of development. Recent bold steps taken by us to reform the system have affected the economy. But we believe that everything will fall in place and our economy will be back on track soon.
Do you feel insecure due to social media?
I feel more secure with it as it makes us concerned that we don’t make any wrong step towards the society. It has made life easier as we can send invites to a large number of people.