Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the new Congress government in Karnataka may not last its full term, and may fall after BJP wins the 2024 Lok Sabha general elections. He was replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in the show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, to be telecast tonight on India TV. When it was pointed out that Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar have decided on sharing two and a half years of rule in Karnataka, Sarma said: “I don’t think they will get to do this. After 2024 Lok Sabha general elections, the government is surely going to fall”.
Sarma predicted that the BJP will win more than 300 seats in next year’s Lok Sabha elections. “India is going through one of its best periods in its history. People feel proud of their past heritage and 6,000-year-old civilization. They want to get rid of the Gandhi family which has a feudal mindset. Modi has brought about a big transformation in the minds of the people of India.”
Asked by Rajat Sharma whether he and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath are competing with each other in advocating strident ‘Hindutva’, Sarma replied: “I come from a small state. Please do not compare an apple with an orange. I have my dreams for Assam and I am going to fulfill them.”
Sarma revealed what happened in the meeting with Rahul Gandhi, after which he left Congress and joined BJP. Rajat Sharma: I heard you went and met Rahul Gandhi, but he devoted more time to his pet.
Sarma: “No the story is like this. Rahul Gandhi had called a meeting in which the then CM Tarun Gogoi, myself, party in-charge C. P. Joshi and Assam Congress chief Anjan Dutta were present. We went to his room and talks began. Five minutes later, his pet dog came, and start eating the biscuits that were served with tea for us on the table. I looked at the other three leaders, they were eating comfortably from the same table. I had gone to meet for the first time. I felt, this was their culture, having food with pet dogs. I said, I can’t be like this, I can’t eat like this. I decided not to go there again.”
Rajat Sharma: Later Rahul posted a video with his pet dog?
Sarma: Yes, it was the same pet dog. ..
Rajat Sharma: But Congress people wrote with the video, the dog proved more loyal than you?
Sarma: Now where is the question of loyalty? We did not join the party for loyalty to a family. Were they paying salary to me? We should demystify all this. Rahul was one of our colleagues in a political party. Others may have taken favours from him. I don’t what Congressmen have in mind about loyalty. For me, loyalty is not to a family, my loyalty is to the nation….Whatever is left of the Congress today is because of Mahatma Gandhi. They hijacked his name. Even today, if you cut out the surname of Gandhi from Sonia ji and Rahul’s names, what is left? This title has been hijacked. Congress belong to Mahamanav Mahatma Gandhi. Otherwise, where is the Congress? Gandhi family does not belong to Mahatma Gandhi.
The Assam CM said: “Look, I knew Rahul Gandhi since childhood and I was never impressed by his merit. When I was in Congress, I used to meet Sonia Gandhi regularly, but I never met Rahul Gandhi. I was never impressed by his merits, his deeds, his arguments, logic and his capacity to do public service. Those who never struggle in life, can never become the leader of a country like India.”
On closing down of Madarsas in Assam, Sarma said, “I want Muslim youths to get modern education. Though it is their families’ duty to see what education they get, I am trying to create a progressive eco-system for Muslim community.”
On the issue of uniform civil code, the Assam CM said: “I predict, 15 to 20 years from now, every Muslim woman voter will vote for BJP, because we have abolished ‘triple talaq’ and we will surely do away with polygamy. Even Prophet Mohammed, whom Muslims revere as ‘Nabi’, was in favour of monogamy. On polygamy, the Prophet had said, this could be done only with the consent of existing wives. The Directive Principles of State Policy in our Constitution clearly says we should bring a common civil code, which we will surely implement.”
On the controversy over PM inaugurating the new Parliament building, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Gandhi family does not want anybody else except from the family to inaugurate the new Parliament. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have never been able to digest the fact that Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister. I was in Congress for 22 years. I know how and when Gandhi family insulted past Presidents including Giani Zail Singh. Had the new Parliament building been ready during UPA rule, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would not have been allowed to inaugurate. Instead the chairperson of so-called UPA Sonia Gandhi would have inaugurated it. Had the Congress been worried about an Adivasi woman President, it would not have fielded Yashwant Sinha against Droupadi Murmu in the presidential election.”
The Assam CM said: “When I was in Congress, I had good relations with Sonia Gandhi. To the extent, that she sent me to work for the party during Mizoram and Manipur elections. I toiled hard for the party. When my time came, I went to Sonia Ji and asked for her support, but she did not give. Tell me, what is the value of such a relation?”