With less than a week to go before the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Tuesday, answering on a range of issues. Providing his assessment of the upcoming polls, the BJP president said that his party will win with two-third majority in both the states. He also affirmed that there is nothing wrong with national issues being the subject of discussion in the state polls. Quoting the developmental works undertaken in the states of Haryana and Maharashtra in the five years of BJP rule, Shah said that both the CMs - Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra and Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana has taken their respective states to a new trajectory of growth.
Shah said, "As far as elections in Maharashtra and Haryana are concerned, BJP is in a good position. In both the states, we are going to form our government with two-third majority. Both the state governments and respective Chief Ministers of both the states have done good work during their five years' tenure. They had acquired a government stained with corruption, but in five years, there have been no corruption charges against them."
The Home Minister highlighted the importance of the double-engine government in both states. He said: "Simultaneously, there was Narendra Modi's government at the Centre. I will give you an example, earlier in Maharashtra, the UPA govt ruled both in Centre and state, they gave Rs 1,15,000 crore for development of the state. But Modi's govt, under 14th Finance Commission gave Rs 4,78,000 crore. You can imagine the scale. In this term of Modi govt, its been a few days more than 100 days, Modi ji has taken so many initiatives in three months as if he has done the work of five years because the government is processing continuously.
Modi government is dealing with so many social problems in the form of 'people's movement'. For example, single-use plastic, water conservation, irrigation. Fifty years, the other party's government was unable to take any step in this respect. The Narendra Modi government took it upon itself and made a new ministry. This shows a broader vision. When we see events like Howdy Modi we realize what is the stature of Narendra Modi in the world. Haryana has become the first Kerosene-mukt-state. Everything is corruption-free and everything is computerised. Manohar Lal Khattar has quietly done all the work, raising the level of politics from caste, region, etc."
Shah also analysed the steps taken by Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government. He said: "The Devendra Fadnavis government has also worked towards agriculture, FDI, education, industrial development, and employment. In all of these, the rankings of Maharashtra had shrunk to as lower as 15, but the BJP government gave Maharashtra its old stature. We will repeat the double-engine growth rate. I am hopeful."
He explained why national security is a major issue for the state polls as well. "Why should national issue not be the issue in states. Isn't Haryana a part of India? Is Maharashtra not concerned with the security of Kashmir. Every state of the country is related to the nation's security," Amit Shah said.
The Election Commission on September 21 announced the dates for the upcoming Assembly polls for Haryana and Maharashtra. Polling on the 90 seats of Haryana and 288 seats of Maharashtra will take place on October 21. The counting will take place on October 24. Below is the detailed schedule of the upcoming elections: