Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said BJP does not want to "communalise or polarise" the UP elections, but the state government must address the issue...
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said BJP does not want to “communalise or polarise” the UP elections, but the state government must address the issue if there is “even some evidence of migration” from Kairana.
Jaitley also took on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing his Aam Aadmi Party government of giving advertisements to only “friendly” media and not to the media houses that are critical.
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In an interview to Times Now, the senior BJP leader maintained that ‘Ram Mandir’ will not be made an electoral issue in UP, where assembly elections are due next year, and his party is not looking to polarise the state to win votes.
A major controversy has erupted over alleged migration from Kairana in western UP, although the state administration has questioned any religion-specific migration there.
“We don’t want in anyway to communalise or polarise the election, but if there is even some evidence of migration taking place from Kairana, it’s an important issue that the state government there must address it,” he said.
Asked about the statements being made by some BJP leaders from the region, Jaitley said, “At the end of the day, whatever statements are made in public domain are in public domain.
“But, I only tell you ultimately it is the party president who determines the stand of the party and therefore as far as electoral strategy of UP is concerned….
“Even in earlier elections, even though BJP stands committed to build a temple in Ayodhya, we have always said that we are not going to make it an election issue. For us its much more than an election issue.”
On another controversy surrounding the censor board and on whether its chief Pahlaj Nihalani would be sacked, Jaitley who also holds charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry said, “I am reasonably certain, that once we are able to announce those new guidelines (for Central Board of Film Certification), the roles of individuals will get diluted.
“How to deal with the individuals, I think you should trust the government. The government will deal with them and advise restraint or take whatever appropriate action is required in the matter,” he said.
He hinted that the new guidelines would be out in a couple of weeks.
Asked about Kejriwal’s allegations that Delhi Lieutenant General Najeeb Jung was interfering in his work, Jaitley said Delhi was not a state but a union territory.
“It is the seat of the central government… Can we have a Union Territory which says we will bypass LG? Senior bureaucrats are not willing to serve Delhi…It’s a historic opportunity for AAP to perform and govern…you have do your function through LG,” he said.
He said, “There are several non-BJP state governments in the country but “one union territory behaves as if it has absolute power.
I think what has happened in Delhi is constitutional monstrosity”.
On why the government has not been able to bring back Vijay Mallya from the UK, Jaitley said, “Britain has one of the highest standards of civility in public life and therefore for Britain to become a heaven for any absconder out of India is something that I cannot fathom.
“British government has taken a position that if you enter the Britain with a valid passport, then we are not going to deport a person, you come in by way of extradition. And conventionally they have been very slow and reluctant in extraditing people.
“And I think where you criticise the government of India, we can take all the steps but ultimately we can not physically lift an individual and bring him back.
Well I only hope that the British government had realised that absconders in one jurisdiction can’t make a heaven in another jurisdiction. This is not civility. And this is not certainly British civility.”
He further said that “a mistake in Mallya case took place years ago when he was given a second round of restructuring, when airline was bleeding, when he was not in position to serve interest…
“Probably at that stage, somebody thought may be we give him a new lease of life. They never knew Mallya’s intention that one day he will disappear.”
He also said that any agency must go through the entire transactions before filing any FIR or chargesheet and they go through possibility of any siphoning of money.
“Create that evidence and then move the chargesheet or FIR, as without evidence they will end up with egg on their face.
Therefore, what the agencies are doing is that they are independently investigating the matter, going through the entire records… Banks themselves have been running from pillar to post …”
“I think at the end of the day, the banking situation overall will retrieve. Mallya is a bad example because I think he has done more injustice to India’s private sector by making banks suspicious of borrowers. Banks should be enthusiastic in lending to borrowers,” he added.
“Let me make it very clear that when this statement about the RBI Governor was made, I had publicly disagreed, Venkaiah Naidu made a statement publicly disagreeing with it and then the party president Amit Shah made a statement that this is not a party position.
Now, some people are more outspoken and therefore speak their mind out. The others remain more conventional about it,” he said.