With the Lok Sabha polls coming in less than five months, Amit Shah broached many topics about his party's plans and perspectives on elections while speaking to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
On being asked about the hyperpopulist promises, especially the recent ones in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh, the BJP president said:
"Hyperpopulist promises were given in Gujarat, Haryana and Assam, and the parties which did that lost. It is not that the results are impacted by this. But it is a factor.
We have waived loans of the farmers to 0%, during the Congress time it was 18%.
We have stopped the black market of the urea. We have taken many steps for the benefits of farmers. In some states, we have not been successful. But we took many steps for them.
Even if parties are giving populist promises I believe we have a mature electorate ad it will give its mandate after discerning well."
He also said that in MP, the 70% farmers themselves clear their loans, and suspects that Congress may not have much amount of the loan left to waive off.
''Wherever Congress has promised farm loan waivers, look at the history of those states. Karnataka, Punjab and M.P. In M.P, everyone knows that cooperative agriculture finance -- 70% of agriculture finance -- means that on 31 March, all farmers have to clear loans, and in M.P, 90% have cleared. They're promising to waive all loans after March. Let the farmer loan figures and waived loans figures come out -- the average farmer loans and the amount they are waiving. Let them explain.
...For example, say farmer loan is 10,000... how much will they waive -- 1k, 2k, 3k? Let them reveal the figure, else we'll reveal it then we'll see,'" he said.
He also spoke whether the party fears to face a spill-over in Uttar Pradesh, a 'Hindi heartland', after winning two successive electoral victories, Amit Shah narrated how different states work with a differing political ideology:
"There has not been just one political culture in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. There are two states, functioning with different political cultures. In the name of 'Hindi heartland, you (Arnab) will even attach Haryana and Delhi to it, but every state has its own influence and problems. The work that the Indian government has undertaken, the improvement that has been brought and the way in which the nation has progressed under the Modi government is a huge matter and cannot be undermined."