BJP Thinks Hindutva Wins Polls, Not Economic Policies: Chidambaram
Chidambaram also spoke on the widespread anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests and lack of Opposition unity.
Video Editor: Md Ibrahim
Video Producers: Kanishk Dangi, Mythreyee Ramesh
In an exclusive conversation with The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia, former Union minister P Chidambaram, on Wednesday, 15 January, said that it was “too late” for the Centre to remedy the economy before March. He also commented that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) thought Hindutva won elections and not policies.
Chidambaram added that even if the government introduces any major policy decision in the 1 February Union Budget, it would take at least six months to assess the impact.
Chidambaram also spoke on the widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, led by youth and students across the country, and the role of Opposition, in a free-wheeling chat with The Quint.
‘Sitharaman Knows the Best’
When asked what advice he would give Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ahead of the tabling of Union Budget, the veteran Congress leader took a dig at her for “dismissing” all suggestions with “utter contempt.”
“I am not competent to advise Nirmala Sitharaman. Even what we say in Parliament, she dismisses us with utter contempt. She doesn’t take any suggestion. She doesn’t find any merit, in anything the Opposition party says. She knows the best.”P Chidambaram
Speaking about the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and prominent industrialists, the former finance minister said:
“These meetings are too late. You can’t hold a meeting on 6-7 January and then table the Budget on 1 February. These meetings must have been held much earlier if they want to come up with meaningful proposals.”P Chidambaram
He added that while the “priority” of the government was Hindutva, they “did not understand” macro economics.
‘Uplifting to See Protests’
Lauding the students and people across the country who are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Chidambaram said that it was “uplifting” and a matter of pride that young men and women are out on the streets.
‘No Opposition Unity Against CAA’
However, he said that while the Opposition was against it, they are not united in their fight against CAA.
“It was very sad. In the meeting arranged by the Congress, 20 parties did participate, but it was disappointing that the SP, BSP, TMC, DMK and TDP did not participate. You say you are opposed to CAA and that it is a fundamental issue. But you don’t participate in the Opposition meeting. It is a question mark about your commitment to the issue.”P Chidambaram
‘People Voting Against BJP’
When asked whether the state and national-level elections are fought differently by parties, Chidambaram said that people have started voting against BJP.
However, he added that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was won on “Pulwama, Balakot and giving a bloody nose to Pakistan.”
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