Congress's Revdi Politics Threatens Karnataka's Future: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the future generations of Kannadigas will have to incur the fallout the Congress's debts with the party's promise of various guarantees

Congress's Revdi Politics Threatens Karnataka's Future: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar also spoke on the recent controversy over the film 'The Kerala Story'


The Karnataka assembly results of 2023 will have no impact on the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the people of the country will once again decisively vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said in an interview.

He said the future generations of Kannadigas will have to incur the fallout the Congress's debts with the party's promise of various guarantees, including 200 units of free electricity and monthly income support for women and unemployed youth.

Mr Chandrasekhar also spoke on the recent controversy over the film 'The Kerala Story' and said the movie was a legitimate narrative of a reality and that everyone has the right to know what endangers the unity of the nation. Excerpts:

What are the BJP's major learnings from the Karnataka defeat, especially as many top ministers and leaders have lost?

It is a little too early to say anything on that. Our party leadership both at the state and the centre will look into the causes, reasons and changes that need to be done. Our (former) Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has already spoken about it, and we will analyse, introspect and see what went wrong and what went right.

Do you think the guarantees of the Congress will have an impact on the fiscal health of Karnataka?

The kind of "revdi (freebies)" economics the Congress is promoting will definitely affect the state's fiscal health. Particularly, after the way Mr Bommai and the BJP have rebuilt the state's economy after the COVID-19 hit. The early estimates are that the revdi politics of the congress will lead to an additional spending of Rs 60,000 crore a year, which means essentially the fiscal deficit of the state will be affected, and the future generations of Kannadigas will have to incur the fallout of the debt borrowed by the Congress government of today. I think it is not good for the state and its future, specifically for the youth who will have to bear the burden of the debt. Let's see how much the government is able to fulfil its promises, and how much of it they don't.  The track record of the Congress has been that they make a lot of promises and fail to deliver on them.


The BJP has lost the election in Karnataka

The BJP's tally went up in Bengaluru, unlike its performance in other parts of the state. What are your expectations as a resident of Bengaluru?

I think Bengaluru has responded very significantly this time to the call of decisive majority. Unfortunately, that did not work out for the rest of the state. But I am deeply pleased and happy and proud that Bengalureans have seen that the future is best under a BJP government. Bengaluru is a very important part of not just Karnataka but for India, and the India story and the way new India is shaping as per the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And therefore it is important that Bengaluru must move out of the urban chaos and the exploitation that people have seen for decades. It must move to modern governance and create ease of living for all of its residents. It is something I am hopeful of. But I am not sure if this government will be able to deliver on that because the track record of the Congress for all the years that it has governed Karnataka has been that the party has always looked at Bengaluru as an exploitation opportunity. So I am not holding my breath about the Congress being able to do anything substantial for Bengaluru, but I am really hoping that we are able to do something for the city in the near future.

Do you think the disagreements between the top Congress leaders of Karnataka that became evident in the last few days has the potential to impact governance of the state?

Look, I know these gentlemen (Mr Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar) really well, and during the campaign too, I referred to them as poster boys of everything that is wrong with Karnataka politics today. Both represent two different kinds of politics that we should be actually walking away from. But they are both two sides of the same coin, where there is rampant corruption, tremendous exploitation of public money and public resources, and whether it is mining or contracts, both the leaders have an illustrious track record, including a socialist but wearing a Rs 70 lakh Hublot watch. I don't think there will be anything new in the Congress dispensation, and it will be more of the usual. There was a recent meme that said Mr Siddaramaiah will exploit and run the ATM from 6 am to 6 pm and DK Shivakumar will run the ATM from 6 pm to 6 am. So I don't know what clocks they are working on and what the divisions of the spoils will be. But this is bad news for the state.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned extensively in Karnataka

The oath ceremony of Mr Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru will see many opposition leaders coming together. Will the election result have any bearing on the Lok Sabha results of 2024 and will it mobilise efforts to forge a united opposition?

Not at all. I don't believe that at all. I think no sane observer who has seen India progress in the last nine years will have any doubt over which way the country wants to go, which way the people of the country want to move. We are on the path of becoming the third-largest economy in the world, we are creating opportunities for all regardless of religion, or any other factors. And we have embarked on that path, and that is what people want. We can expect the Congress and the motley group of opposition leaders to muddy the water, spread more lies and do hit jobs leading up to 2024. But the train with Indians has already left the station and they are determined to continue the progress made in the last nine years. Nobody wants to look back, or go back to the bad, old 65 years of the Congress, and certainly they don't want the revdi economics of the Congress that can bankrupt the nation and weaken the future generations. PM Modi is taking the country forward where the new generations of Indians can hold their heads high with their hard work and enterprise. The Modi government has been an enabler of successes, rather than a roadblock, and the government should rather enjoy the successes of its citizens, rather than exploiting them. So, 2024 is a foregone conclusion that PM Modi will continue to govern and lead the country to where it is meant to go. People are clear that Karnataka 2023 will have no implications on India 2024. If you recall, the same leaders came together in 2018 for JD(S)'s HD Kumaraswamy's oath ceremony in 2018, but what happened in 2019 is here for everyone to see. The opposition in India is reduced to political tourism and spreading lies.


Amit Shah was also a key campaigner for the BJP in Karnataka

The controversy around the film 'The Kerala Story', the ban on it by some states and the subsequent stay on the ban by the Supreme Court have ignited the debate on creativity and censorship. What are your comments on it?

I think it is a very strange behaviour, political impulse on the part of the TMC (Trinamool Congress) and the Congress and others where they are so fearful of their own vote bank that even creative expression of truth on the ground is being held back for the fear that it is in some ways hurting the sentiment of their vote bank. Hurting the sentiments of people wilfully is wrong, but laying the truth out there and allowing a story to be put out there for everybody to understand and learn from, is a very different proposition. I certainly think that political parties and leaders who do this for their vote bank are doing a grave injustice to the fabric of India which is about free expression. The Kerala story is a story that everybody must watch. It is a legitimate narrative of a genuine problem. It is not against any religion and is not pro any religion. It is showing a societal phenomenon that is showing present dangers to the unity of the nation. I think it is something everybody should have the right to watch.