Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday, 1 March, clarified he is not in the race for the post of prime minister. He termed himself as “pure RSS” whose mission is to work for the nation.
Gadkari responded to speculations of him being BJP’s consensual prime minister candidate in case of a fractured mandate. The minister dismissed the speculations as "Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne (day dreaming)”.
The senior BJP leader also said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country would go ahead on the path of development and the party would get absolute majority in the upcoming elections.
“I have nothing to do with it. I am not in the race. Modi ji is the PM and will become prime minister again. Mai RSS wala hun (I am an RSS man). Our mission is to work for the nation. Country is progressing in terms of development and growth under Modiji’s leadership. We are standing behind him. Where does the question arise of my becoming the PM,” he said in reply to a related query.
He said he spoke whatever he felt from within and added “Neither I dream it, nor there is any liaisoning, nor any PR.”
‘I am Not a Calculated Politician’
"I have a bad habit ... I tell before 10 lakh Muslims that I am a pure RSS man vote me if you want otherwise do not regret. I have the conviction to say this. I am not a calculated politician. I am a good BJP worker. Country is supreme for me. I work for it. It should be happy, prosperous, strong and become world's economic power," Gadkari said.
He said his mission is welfare of villagers, farmers and socio economic transformation and "under Modiji's leadership and as per our ideology much work has been done and will be done in future also."
“I have come as a supporter in this work and will do whatever work is assigned to me for the country,” he reiterated.
In reply to a query as to why he was favourite among the Opposition leaders, Gadkari said he was a workaholic and believes in hardwork.
"Whoever comes to me, my thinking remains positive. I tell my officials that he has come to me that means he has some problems so keep positive approach and solve it. Receive (them) nicely and if not possible tell the problems and why it cannot be done. I do not behave as per political calculation. This is my natural behaviour and that is why opponents also becomes my friends," he said.
‘Congress Not the Enemy, Difference of Opinions’
Asked whether he believed in "Congress mukta Bharat", he said the ideologies of both the parties are different and "we are not enemies of each other. Difference of opinion can be there... It is our tradition. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jawaharlal Nehru and even Modiji welcomes the opposition party."
On job potential, the Minister said it is more in "private-public sector" than the government and entrepreneurship should be promoted.
There is a difference between Job and employment, he said adding that "I tell the youth to become one who can give jobs not seek. Increase entrepreneurship".
On projects with Delhi government, he said in 13 projects work was on worth Rs 4,500 crore besides the work on Yamuna, Ramnadi, Kali Ganga and 40 tributaries.
Talking about highways, the Minister said by March, the construction of highways was likely to reach 34 km a day against 28 km a day last year.
He said highway projects worth Rs 50,000 crore were underway while bridge at Dhaulakuan to decongest Delhi will be inaugurated Saturday and added that foundation stone by the Prime Minister for Dwarka Express Highway is likely soon.
About works on Ganga, the Minister said that during his recent visit for "kumbh snan" people told him that for the first time in 50 years they found the river "nirmal and aviral".
He said he wanted to work in the direction of public transport. Besides there is 2 lakh crore worth of possibility in biofuel economy and diversification of agriculture was needed.
(With inputs from PTI)