Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday that the BJP does not want Congress to disappear completely as opposition is needed.
Speaking at the Goa Fest 2022, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas also said the Narendra Modi government was “not completely a right-wing government”.
“We don’t want the Congress party to disappear completely. We need an opposition. If we have an opposition, it is up to the opposition whether it should be led by Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee or Arvind Kejriwal or Sharad Pawar,” Puri said.
Asked about the membership of people from different parties in the BJP, the minister replied that this is democracy, adding that “if I am a member of one party, I have the right to join another”.
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“You would make a valid point if you said just take comments before inducting anyone into the party,” he said, adding that the BJP is the largest party with over 300 members of the Lok Sabha and “if people are not happy with their party, they will gravitate towards the BJP”.
Speaking about the Modi dispensation, he said it was “not completely a right-wing government” and added that “right, left, pro this, anti that” were just slogans.
“Is our government typically right-wing? In many ways it is not. From Sarvodaya to Antodaya, the philosophy of taking the Sustainable Development Goals as far as possible first is the core of the BJP philosophy,” Puri said.
He claimed that this approach, in many ways, took the pitch away from the kind of message the socialists had.
“The most important thing is to look at your business structure, the GST (collection) last month was Rs 1.61 lakh crore. If you look at corporation tax, the rates in Indira Gandhi’s time were 90%. Now you have the lowest corporate tax rate,” he pointed out.
If we look at all the policies, it is not that the government focuses exclusively on the economically weaker sections or the middle class, but also on the business sector.
When asked if winning the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 was a ‘done deal’ for the BJP, he replied that nothing in politics is a done deal.
“Never be complacent. Knowing that the party is in good shape and that we are winning election after election, I would say that the opposition must pull themselves together, if they are to display a credible challenge in 2024. The BJP must also work hard, which we are doing,” added The Minister.
Taking a swipe at Aam Aadmi Party over the arrest by Punjab police of BJP leader Tejinder Singh Bagga and the ensuing chain of events involving Haryana and Delhi police, Puri said: “We are witnessing a show where a political start-up from Delhi, which is a GST-rich state with surpluses, moved to Punjab, which is in dire financial straits”.
Goa Fest 2022 was organized by the Association of Indian Advertising Agencies and Advertising Club.