BJP will return to power in Uttarakhand; Congress not a threat at all: CM Pushkar Singh Dhami

TJ Sreejith

Dehradun: It's freezing in Uttarakhand, and for political parties, the inclement weather and dropping mercury level is of secondary concern compared to the upcoming election. Though the temperature plunges, the rumbles of the election campaign are moving ahead in full swing.

The residence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Dehradun is bathed in the snow at night, with its most decorated resident still away with party chores. After a tour to the constituencies, he arrived at half-past ten, full of energy and laughter mirrored inside the house. It has been only six months since he took over as the Chief Minister, but he has become the face of the BJP in Uttarakhand. Dhami is also leading the BJP in this assembly election. He was ready for the late-night interview with 'Mathrubhumi'correspondant.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

How is the election atmosphere in Uttarakhand? How many seats can BJP win?

We have the blessings of the people of Uttarakhand. One thing that is clear from the rallies so far is that senior citizens, mothers, and youth among the voters are with BJP. There is no doubt that we will win 60 seats this time around. Let Congress and others share the remaining ten seats.

If BJP wins 60 seats, will you be the Chief Minister?

You should know that I never wanted to be a chief minister or asked for any position. I am just doing the job tasked by the party.

Is former Chief Minister Harish Singh Rawat, who is leading the Congress in this election, a challenging opponent for you?

Rawatji is a senior leader in the state. But the Congress party itself has made his situation worse. It was first announced that he would contest from Ramnagar, and when the problems arose, he opted for the Lalkuva constituency. He even tweeted that he wanted to leave politics. It seems to me that the party itself does not take him seriously. Earlier, when the Congress contested under his leadership, they only managed to grab mere 11 seats. Rawat had lost both the seats he had contested in 2017.

What is the biggest challenge for BJP in this election?

The BJP does not have such a challenge here since Congress is weak. BJP is aiming for an easy victory in Uttarakhand.

Is there any special project devised for the development of Uttarakhand if BJP returns to power?

The BJP has already prepared a development plan for the next 10 years. We have a road map to make Uttarakhand the best state in India. We have devised plans to tackle challenges posed in tourism, road development, internet connectivity, welfare schemes, unemployment relief and migration in the state.

What will happen in the Uttar Pradesh elections?

The state has witnessed massive development and growth under the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath. UP has become an ideal place that demonstrates a new model of development. Modiji is also directly involved. Ram temple is under construction. Now it's time for the development of Mathura. Surely, the BJP will return to power in UP.

There are rumours that you will be elected to the BJP national leadership. Is there any truth behind it?

There is nothing like that. Currently, my job is to lead Uttarakhand forward with development and growth.

You have only got a few months to work as the Chief Minister. How did you become so popular?

First of all, I tried to bring some form of development in all sectors in the state. We tried our best in resolving the problems. Due to Covid-19, the tourism sector in the state has come to a standstill. Those working in the tourism sector have lost their jobs. The government provided relief packages to all of them. Packages were also announced in all sectors, including transportation, culture and health. Pensions and subsidies were also increased proportionally.

It was heard that you work 20 hours a day. How is this possible?

I got the inspiration after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I always try to be as active as he is. I live alone, and my family resides in the village. I try my best in getting immersed in the job that I am entrusted to do.

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