Congress a nationalistic party, doesn't need certificate from BJP, says Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday that the results of the last assembly elections in which Congress trounced the BJP in three out of the five states were an indicator of voters’ mood, which would set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

FP Staff February 26, 2019 14:48:52 IST
Congress a nationalistic party, doesn't need certificate from BJP, says Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday that the results of the last assembly elections in which Congress trounced the BJP in three out of the five states were an indicator of voters’ mood, which would set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

“If the results of the elections held in the last six or seven months are considered, we find that the BJP not only lost in assembly elections, but in the bye-polls held in UP where it lost both CM and deputy CM’s constituencies,” he said during a session at the second edition of News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi.

Citing the Congress’ victory in his state, Nath said that with Madhya Pradesh being the heart of the country, the signal that emerged out of the state has reached the voters in Kerala.

“Voters in far Kerala can understand, but not those (leaders) in Delhi. How many leaders are connected with rural India and understand its problems? Divisions have been made in the country on the basis of urban, rural, caste, class, etc. We’ve asses, masses and classes – as divisions now,” the CM sarcastically remarked.

On farmers’ distress

Congress a nationalistic party doesnt need certificate from BJP says Kamal Nath

File image of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath. PTI

Stating agriculture as the most distressed sector, Nath said that the entire agriculture policy needed a fresh look, as at present the problem was not shortfall in production but bumper production of crops and farm produce.

“There’s excess production and the farmer must get the right price for the produce, which is not happening at present. A farmer is born and dies in debt. While in MP, we’re providing relief to 53 lakh farmers by waiving Rs 55,000 crore (loan value), the offer of Rs 6000 per annum to farmers made by the Modi government just before general election doesn’t make sense. It won’t address the problem,” he mentioned.

Nath who was at the forefront as Pradesh Congress chief during Madhya Pradesh election, also indicated that farm issue would play a major role in the forthcoming general election.

“Farmer issues can’t be ignored. As in MP, 70% of the population is dependent on agriculture though all are not farmers. This sector contributes a major chunk to the state’s economy,” he remarked.

The state witnessed farmers’ agitation and mob violence in Mandsaur district in June 2017. The anger amongst farmers had been one of the factors that led to the defeat of three-term Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in 2018 assembly election.

On national security and action

In the backdrop of Pulwama terror attack, and India-Pakistan debate, Nath questioned, “Is Congress not a nationalistic party? Do we need a certificate on this issue from the BJP?”

“It was the Congress party that fought against the British and not the predecessors of the BJP,” he said.

Nath said that the government has to decide what action needs to be taken for national security. “We shouldn’t give advice to the government.”

On development: Congress versus BJP

Referring to Narendra Modi’s attack on Congress that the grand old party had failed to eradicate poverty, he questioned, “Has the poverty got eradicated only in these four-and-half years? Hadn’t there been any development in the last sixty years and during the Congress regime?”

“Unlike the BJP, the Congress started from zero (after Independence). Whatever development has been taking place now, is being built upon the past,” he asserted.

Concluding the session, Nath reminded the audience that the current voters were smart and the BJP shouldn’t forget 2004, when the NDA government lost and the UPA came to power.

“I’ve contested and won elections for 39 years. I understand the pulse of the voters. Before MP election, though I knew Congress would win, I swallowed the criticisms made by the BJP,” Nath added.

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