‘Congress leaders out to save their shop’ : The Tribune India

‘Congress leaders out to save their shop’

BJP’s priority is to appoint panna pramukhs across Haryana by April this year, says BJP’s Haryana in charge Biplab Kumar Deb

‘Congress leaders out to save their shop’

Biplab Kumar Deb, BJP incharge of Haryana

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, January 7

The ruling BJP on Saturday said Congress Party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, currently traversing Haryana, was rather late in the day as India's first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had accomplished the task of uniting the country in 1947.

In an interview to The Tribune, BJP’s in charge of Haryana and former Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said the Yatra was an affront to Sardar Patel's legacy of India's unification.

"Congress President Mallikarkun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi are too late in the day. Sardar Patel united India decades ago. Congress leaders are out to save their own shop with this yatra but let me tell them they can't teach lessons to the land of Kurukshetra and Panipat, which has seen suffering and bloodshed," said Deb, credited with BJP's historic Tripura win in 2018, ending the long CPM rule.

Tasked with the top organizational role in Haryana, where the BJP government is in its second term, Deb said his top priority was the appointment of panna pramukhs all over the state.

"We will complete the task of appointing panna pramukhs in every booth and assembly segment of Haryana by April this year. We will also expand our empowered booths (saskshta booth)," Deb said when asked about his priorities in the state that will go to polls in 2024.

BJP’s Panna pramukh network recently yielded a historic mandate for the BJP in Gujarat, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking every state to replicate the model. One panna pramukh is appointed after every 60 voters or roughly 15 families. The BJP defines an empowered booth as one where it estimates over 50 pc voter support for saffron ranks.

On the continuation of Manohar Lal Khattar as Haryana chief minister until elections, Deb hailed Khattar's tenure as "transparent and productive" and said, "The CM is a down to earth leader. He is a strong organiser and has proved himself to be a very able administrator. His governance record is dotted with several achievements including transparency on jobs, delivery of health, education and infrastructure, which are the fundamental needs of any society."

On the question about possibilities of a pre-poll alliance with the JJP in Haryana, Deb said, "It is too early to say.”

"The BJP cannot speak alone on this issue. Both sides would need to hold structured talks on the parameters. That discussion has not started yet," said Deb.

He added, “BJP never breaks alliances but for the BJP people's development is the most important."

"There is just one bottomline in BJP -- everyone has to work for people's and state's development. People's assessment of governance is the most important to us. The BJP does not work only through organization or government. There are many tools available now to tell us in advance where and what to correct. The example is Gujarat where the entire Cabinet was overhauled on poll eve. People endorsed that decision with a historic mandate last year,” said Deb.

Asked if a Gujarat-like pre poll Cabinet overhaul was a possibility in Haryana, Deb said, "It is not for me to comment on that. Only the Prime Minister knows."


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