The Congress developed to power in Punjab in 2017 on the back of false promises made to farmers such as a loan waiver, says Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The people of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, which voted the Congress to power in 2018, too, will recognize how hollow these promises were, she said. In an interview with Amandeep Shukla and Roshan Kishore, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader claimed that, at the national level, the Opposition had no common minimum programme to offer the people and we’re working together solely to remove Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
The Opposition has been accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of politicizing the Pulwama terror attack and its aftermath. Your response?
What can they do? First, they will ask you, then they will say something else, and then they will manufacture something…Forget the Congress, I ask the entire Opposition: what do you have to offer? It is sad that the narrative of the entire Opposition is not a common minimum programme or agenda for the people. Their only agenda is to remove Modi. And what the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) is talking (about) is what it will do for the people. In the Opposition, we do not have one political party saying “give us five years and this is what we will do”.
And look at the opposition leaders who are speaking the language of Pakistan. One of their leaders went and hugged the Pakistani army general. The question is: should we trust our forces or enemy propaganda?
Punjab is a border state. How do you view the heightened state of tension between India and Pakistan?
Naturally, it is a matter of concern. Terrorism has been there for a long time and something needed to be done.
The Opposition has been accusing the Modi government of not having done enough for the farmers. They have also accused the NDA of promoting jobless growth.
The Congress itself came to power in Punjab on the basis of false promises. They talked of a loan waiver but even after two years, the farmers are waiting for concrete steps.
Taking a cue from Punjab, Rahul Gandhi made the same announcement in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh elections. However, like Punjab, the people of these states, too, would soon realize that they don’t measure up to their promises. Congress has made promises but is insincere in fulfilling them.
And as far as jobs are concerned, you only need to look at the data of the food processing ministry to see how much work we have done.