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Posted at: May 15, 2019, 7:03 AM; last updated: May 15, 2019, 10:00 AM (IST)THE TRIBUNE INTERVIEW: JAI RAM THAKUR, HIMACHAL CM

‘People have appreciated our development agenda’

‘People have appreciated our development agenda’
Jai Ram Thakur, Himachal CM

In the saddle for 15 months now, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is working overtime to ensure that the BJP repeats its 2014 performance by winning all four Lok Sabha seats. He has addressed 64 poll meetings since the elections were announced. In an interview with The Tribune reporter Pratibha Chauhan, he says the Modi factor is the biggest in these elections. Excerpts: 

How do you view the BJP’s poll prospects and what are the issues dominating the poll scene?

Modi factor indisputably remains the single biggest factor but the spirit of nationalism is another issue tilting the voters in favour of the BJP. People view Modi as a strong leader in whose hands the nation is safe. The BJP is all set to win all four seats.

Do you think the outcome of the poll will be a reflection on your 15-month-old government?

Certainly, as the people have appreciated our pro-people and development-oriented agenda which incorporates the principles of tolerance, and easy accessibility.

What do you feel about the new low in political debate that is a new trend in Himachal Pradesh?

I am of the opinion that all of us must exercise restraint so that there is no bad blood and bitterness after the elections. However, it is the provocation by the Congress by referring to the PM constantly as chor which prompted a sharp reaction from BJP leaders. This practice of making unsavoury remarks against opponents is not right. 

What will be the fate of BJP legislator Anil Sharma after the elections?

Despite being a BJP MLA, he has refused to campaign for the party. So his future will be very troublesome. We have evidence that he has been campaigning for his son who is the Congress candidate.

Will giving maximum lead from their Assembly segments be the main criteria for filling vacancies in the Cabinet?

It will definitely be a criterion as the MLAs are expected to work wholeheartedly, the way they would for their own election. They cannot be casual, thinking it is the Lok Sabha poll.

There is an impression that you were unable to convince some leaders like Khimi Ram, Roop Singh, RR Kaundal and Anil Dhiman to campaign.

This is not true. Barring Suresh Chandel, who joined the Congress, everyone has worked. They might be having small issues, but they worked for the party candidates. As far as Chandel is concerned, we asked him to work but not on any pre-conditions.

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