Under the spotlight in this week 'On the road' segment aired on Republic TV, BJP MP and Lok Sabha candidate for Saran constituency, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, on Saturday, shared his confidence in NDA scoring an absolute majority in Bihar, where the BJP has tied up with the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U), with Republic media network's reporter Himanshu Dev.
"I have full confidence that the NDA will win all 40 seats in Bihar. Congress is irrelevant in Bihar and nowadays even on a national scale. As people have a lot of faith in Narendra Modi, I am sure NDA will form a central government. I have already appealed to the people to come out and vote in great numbers. People here are very socially aware and informed," he said.
Speaking about the political scenario on the ground in Saran, Rudy said that he did not see any opposition to him by RJD in Bihar. Rudy faces RJD's Chandrika Rai in the fight for Saran. Rai who is the son of former Chief Minister Daroga Prasad Rai has been a two-time cabinet minister in Bihar and is the father-in-law of RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav.
"Saran is a unique constituency where politics is not done ordinarily. I do not have any idea about Chandrika Rai or his strategy. Just yesterday, Amit Shahji's programme had taken place here along with the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in a historic way. Seeing this, I ask where is RJD? RJD is fighting on principles at all. And the development which CM Nitish Kumar has done in Bihar is unprecedented. People here have the question of whether they choose Lalu Yadav of PM Narendra Modi. Naturally PM Modi tends to be the first and last option," he added.
While many local constituents and first-time voters in Saran have said that they would vote on the basis of nationalism, Rudy said that while many have claimed their nationalism, it will be proven only by work.
"Since the Pulwama attack and the sly technique used by terrorists to kill our CRPF Jawans, this issue of nationalism has been stoked in young voters. Following the attack, the answer our Prime Minister gave (Balakot strike) is in their minds. They believe that if somebody can keep our nation safe, it is PM Narendra Modi. While Nationalism is not one person's possession, nobody is talking about Congress' nationalism. Everyone is associating nationalism to PM Modi only. Just because Congress speaks about its own nationalism, it does not prove it. The one who works for the nation establishes the nation's prowess, his nationalism will be seen."
Focussing on Saran-specific issues like water scarcity, Rudy said that while this is a new problem perhaps due to climate change, he would work towards solving it.
"Previously, water was not a problem here. But now, as I roam around the constituency, I have seen that wells which were 120 feet deep are dry. I do not know the exact reason for this scarcity. Maybe it happened due to excessive water usage to produce electricity, which has depleted the bore water reserves or due to climate change. As this is a new issue, I will pick this up and try my best to solve it."
Apart from being a three-time MP and the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rudy also holds a commercial pilot's licence and is in Limca Book of Records for being the only Parliamentarian operating Airbus-320 Jets and flying as the first officer for Indigo airlines. He has also earned the distinction of being the only civilian to have flown Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter aircraft. Speaking about his experience as a pilot, Rudy praised the technical superiority of the Rafale jets which he has flown.
" I am qualified in four professions - being a politician, teaching economics at the University, have been a lawyer and am a fully qualified A-320 Airbus captain which I fly regularly. Sometimes I fly for practice and for demonstration of fighter jets. During that time, I have flown a Rafale jet and did all the manoeuvres possible by the aircraft. While I have also flown Sukhois jets, this machine (Rafale jet) is magic with its fly-by technology. There is no parallel jet to its fighting capability, currently in the world. To include such an aircraft in our nation's defences is historic and very dangerous to Pakistan."
Saran constituency will go to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The results are expected on May 23. Watch the full show of 'On The Road' in the video above as Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks at length about all the topics mentioned and much more.