Updated March 10th, 2024 at 23:38 IST

PM Modi, What He Stands For, Will Be at Centre of LS Polls: Kapil Sibal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the centre of the Lok Sabha polls and whether what he stands for is for the good of the people of the country would be the subject matter of the elections, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said on Sunday.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. | Image:PTI
Advertisement

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the centre of the Lok Sabha polls and whether what he stands for is for the good of the people of the country would be the subject matter of the elections, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said on Sunday.

In a video interview with PTI, Sibal also said the opposition INDIA bloc needs to come out with a joint vision document which entails what key issues are there before the country which need to be addressed.

Advertisement

Asserting that no election is a done deal, Sibal quipped, "I don't know whether picture baki hai ki nahi lekin jo picture chal rahi hai woh desh ke liye theek nahi hai (I don't know whether or not there is more to the film but the one that is playing is not good for the country)." Asked about the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) losing its way with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar crossing over to the NDA and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee saying her party will go solo in the polls, Sibal said negotiations with Banerjee were still on and that was not an issue.

"As far as Nitish Kumar is concerned, the nature of politics in this country today allows for all this to happen, nobody trusts anybody else. It is unfortunate that the level of politics has reached its nadir as reflected by not just one individual but by the nature of politics in this country where people just cross over for reasons you and I know which need not be stated publicly," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Advertisement

"As long as politics of this nature thrives in India, I don't think we have much hope for the delivery of essentials to those people who are at the bottom of the pyramid," he asserted.

Expressing confidence that the INDIA bloc has the wherewithal to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, Sibal said battles will be fought depending on the kind of candidates the opposition fields in particular constituencies and the narrative it would project.

Advertisement

Noting that seat sharing among opposition parties will be over soon, Sibal said they will have to get together to build a narrative with which they can persuade the people to vote for them in the course of this election.

That narrative has not yet started being built, he added.

Advertisement

Sibal asserted that the INDIA bloc needs a vision for the future which is different from what the BJP is relying on.

Asked if the opposition needs a joint vision document, Sibal said, "I think they need something like that. I think they are talking about a joint minimum programme. A joint minimum programme, according to me, is not enough." "It is a minimum programme as far as what you will do. A broad vision of what the issues are before this country that needs to be addressed (is what is required)." Sibal said the vision document need not have 50, 40 or 30 issues and just five major issues that need to be looked at and are different from those the BJP tom-toms about, would be enough.

Advertisement

He noted that the real issues of this country include massive unemployment, lack of education, empowerment through education and health.

"Three things that empower an individual are education, health and values. The values that we see under the BJP, the kind of violence and hate that is being generated in society, are not things that will make this nation great," Sibal said.

Advertisement

He claimed that the real issues of the people are not being addressed.

"What is being addressed through the media is that as if we are already at the cusp of a Viksit Bharat, but the fact of the matter is that our per capita income, even among the BRICS countries, is the lowest," the former Congress leader said.

Advertisement

"Something should emerge that attracts people. Something that touches the people and you don't need big propaganda machinery for that. What you need is honesty and sincerity for that; talk about real issues that impact the lives of the people," Sibal said.

On how the Ram temple wave in north India can be countered, he asked why should it be countered as there is Lord Ram that resides in our hearts.

Advertisement

"What does Lord Ram tell us? To do the right thing. What are the values of Lord Ram? Ask the dispensation in power to embrace the values of Lord Ram. They (BJP) talk of Lord Ram and violate all the values Lord Ram stood for. That is what we need to tell the people," Sibal said.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that the BJP will get at least 370 seats and the NDA would cross the 400-mark, Sibal took a swipe, saying the PM probably has more information on this count than he has.

Advertisement

"I guess he knows what the machines will do. If he says so, if he says 370 or 400, he must be very certain or he must be knowing how the people will vote, how machines will count the vote and it will all come out as 400," he said, attacking the government.

People must think about what changes have happened in the last 10 years other than the gifts being given to buy their votes, he said.

Advertisement

Asked about some people suggesting that the 2024 polls is a done deal or whether he believes "picture abhi baki hai", Sibal said, "No election is a done deal. I don't know whether picture baki hai ki nahi lekin jo picture chal rahi hai woh desh ke liye theek nahi hai." On being questioned as to what is the answer to Narendra Modi versus who, Sibal said, "I think in 2024, Narendra Modi will certainly be at the centre of the election. What Narendra Modi ji stands for will be at the centre of the election and whether what he stands for is for the good of the people of India and the future is the subject matter of this election in the months to come," he said.

Asked about the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Sibal said, "It is fine. If they (Congress) think it will galvanize the people, why not." Sibal, who was a Union Minister during UPA I and II, quit the Congress in May 2022 and was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent member with the Samajwadi Party's support. He had also floated a non-electoral platform 'Insaaf' aimed at fighting injustice. 

Advertisement

Published March 10th, 2024 at 23:38 IST