For the first time in the last 4 months, union Home Minister Amit Shah gave an exclusive interview ahead of the much-anticipated Bihar Assembly elections. In his interview with CNN News18, Shah touched upon a range of contemporary issues such as Bihar elections, Sushant Singh Rajput’s death probe, India-China standoff, Tanishq ad controversy and several others.
Here are 8 key takeaways from Amit Shah’s latest interview:
Nitish Kumar will be the next CM of Bihar: Amit Shah
The Union Home Minister asserted that the next chief minister of Bihar will be none other than JDU chief and incumbent chief minister Nitish Kumar. He also added that Kumar will preside over the chief ministership of the state even if BJP gets more seats than the JDU.
“Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister of Bihar even if BJP racks up more seats than its alliance partner Janata Dal-United(JDU) while adding that NDA will return to power with a two-thirds majority in the assembly polls,” Shah said. This means that Bihar will not face a Maharashtra like situation even if BJP wins more seats than its ally.
LJP broke away from NDA alliance because consensus could not be reached over seat distribution: Amit Shah
Spilling the beans over Chirag Paswan-led LJP’s departure from NDA, Shah said that the party chose to go solo in the elections even though a reasonable number of seats were offered to them and several attempts at negotiations were made.
“We are not the ones who severed the alliance. It was them (LJP) who left the NDA alliance. In the previous election, we did not fight alongside Nitish Kumar’s JDU so when this year they were also in the alliance, it was but natural that both BJP and LJP would have to give up on a certain number of their seats. However, it was unacceptable to them. We tried to have several negotiations but it did not pan out as expected and they left the alliance,” Shah said.
Protest against Farm Bills a deliberate attempt by the opposition to instigate farmers against the BJP: Shah
Shah also slammed the opposition parties for instigating farmers against the recently passed farm bills. He said that the agriculture bills passed by the BJP government provide farmers with an option of selling their produce at a better price outside their mandis.
“The opposition parties are tricking the farmers by feeding them with inaccurate information about the farm bills. Purchase for Kharif in Punjab and Haryana has begun. MSP regime will stay. None of the Bills says that MSP will cease to exist. A deliberate attempt at stoking fear among the farmers is done for petty political gains,” Shah said.
Small incidents like Tanishq ad controversy cannot break India’s communal harmony: Amit Shah
Regarding the controversy stirred up by a recent advertisement by Tanishq jewellery brand that showed a Hindu woman married into a Muslim family which critics claimed was a subtle attempt at promoting ‘love jihad’, Amit Shah termed the controversy inconsequential, adding that such small incidents cannot shake the country’s communal harmony and that its roots are very strong.
“The roots of social harmony are very strong. There have been many such attacks on it. The British tried to break this harmony, later the Congress also tried the same,” Shah said.
I’m clear that there shouldn’t be any media trial: Amit Shah on Sushant Singh Rajput death case
The Union Home Minister also spoke on the brazen media trial going on in the alleged suicide case of Sushant Singh Rajput. When asked if the actor’s death will be a political issue in the poll-bound Bihar, Shah responded, “I am very clear that there shouldn’t be any media trial. If there is any lack in the investigation or an attempt to sabotage the case then you can raise questions. It’s media right and duty. But to prolong an issue for the sake for TRPs is not right.”
BJP will form the government in West Bengal next year: Amit Shah
Radiating confidence about the BJP’s prospects in the forthcoming state elections in West Bengal, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the saffron party will form a government in the state next year as “parivartan” is inevitable.
Shah remarked that the law and order situation in the West Bengal has utterly collapsed and the state is plagued with numerous corruption scams, including the scams in the relief material granted to it following the disaster wreaked by Cyclone Amphan.
Governor Koshyari should have chosen his words carefully: Shah
Days after Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari kicked a hornet’s nest with his letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him if he had turned secular, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his interview to CNN News18 said Koshyari could have chosen words wisely.
Confirming that he read the letter written by Governor Koshyari, Shah said, “he made a passing reference, but I also believe that he (Governor) could have avoided the selection of those particular words,” said Shah.
India will not cede an inch of its territory to anybody: Amit Shah
Regarding the ongoing standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, Union Home Minister asserted that the country would not tolerate violation of its sovereignty and its Armed Forces are ready to face any eventuality.
“Every nation is always ready (for war). That’s the purpose of raising and maintaining armies so that you can repel any form of aggression. My comments are not in reference to any particular situation but I would like to reassure that India’s defence forces are always ready,” Shah said.
When asked if India should tackle Chinese aggression by reconsidering its stand on Tibet and Taiwan, Shah refrained from giving a straight answer, noting that it is not the right platform to discuss such complex issues with profound geopolitical ramifications. Shah referred to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar’s stance on the India-China standoff, saying that what they have cogently articulated India’s stand on the issue.