Image: Republic World
With the two-phase Gujarat assembly elections set to begin on December 1, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and discussed several subjects ranging from Gujarat elections to Article 370 to the Uniform Civil Code. In the exclusive interview, he also discussed the attempts by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to link the arrest of its leader Satyendra Jain as well as the woes of Manish Sisodia who is embroiled in the Delhi liquor scam controversy to the upcoming Gujarat elections.
When asked about his opinion on AAP’s attempts to link controversies around Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia, the Home Minister said that he doesn’t think people believe what the Arvind Kejriwal-led party says. "Their attempts are clearly visible but I don't think the public accepts it as the truth. We also stay connected to the public. There are so many people in this democracy, they ask us straightforward questions too, and they even criticise us. And we should listen. But there is nothing that we have heard anything of this sort (controversies of AAP) against us from any quarters", Amit Shah told Arnab Goswami.
#AmitShahSpeaksToArnab | Is AAP a factor in Gujarat or is it all plain hype? Hear Home Minister @AmitShah’s response on the biggest interview in the run up to the Gujarat Elections https://t.co/VoABR39Ncx pic.twitter.com/7wnJ2sNDnm— Republic (@republic) November 23, 2022
The controversies being referred to here are those surrounding Satyendar Jain who is currently in Tihar jail after being arrested in May this year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). His arrest followed an FIR filed by the CBI against him in 2017 for allegedly setting up four shell companies and money laundering. Sisodia, on the other hand, is under probe in the Delhi Liquor Excise Policy case.
When asked about the vacuum created by Congress which is seemingly on the wane in Gujarat and has kept its campaign so far strangely subdued, Amit Shah said that this vacuum will be filled by the BJP. He opined that the public is not always looking for an alternative or a strong opposition. 'It's not that the public is always looking for alternatives. It often happens that the voters make the party in power even stronger".
#AmitShahSpeaksToArnab | Union Home Minister Amit Shah declares that the BJP will surpass its 2002 tally in 2022. Hear it all and more in the biggest election interview of the year, #LIVE here- https://t.co/VoABR39Ncx pic.twitter.com/0HPsVwlXiW— Republic (@republic) November 23, 2022
Elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 1 (89 constituencies) and December 5 (93 constituencies) and the results will be announced on December 8. While BJP will be defending its decades-long unbeaten seat in its stronghold, Kejriwal's AAP has also fielded its candidates in all 182 constituencies in the state to remove CM Bhupendra Patel from power. While speaking to Arnab, Amit Shah said that the BJP will break all previous records in terms of seats and votes bagged during the polls and will surpass the 127-seat mark it won in 2002 with a landslide victory.