In his first interview in several months and after recovering from COVID-19, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told News18 Network’s Managing Director and Group Editor-in-Chief, Rahul Joshi that the NDA would win hands down in the upcoming Bihar elections and Nitish Kumar would be chief minister irrespective of which party in the NDA alliance wins more seats.
In a nearly hour-long wide-ranging conversation held in his home city of Ahmedabad, Shah discussed a wide range of issues beyond Bihar elections — from the tensions on the border with China to Kashmir to the politics around the government’s farm reform bills to the situation in West Bengal.
Shah, in his characteristically blunt style, said the sovereignty of India’s territory was supreme and government was committed to protect every inch of it. The armed forces were ready for war should it be forced on the country, he said, adding that “truth is on our side” and as was much of the world.
On Kashmir, the Home Minister said the next 5-6 months would see a wave of development and the government remained committed to its promise of statehood for Jammu & Kashmir and it would not take long.
Shah distanced the government and the BJP from calls for a temple in Mathura, and also addressed the recent furore over the Maharashtra’s governor’s letter to the state chief minister along with issues such as the “Media Trial” in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the media’s overreach for TRPs and the controversy over the Tanishq advertisement.
He decried the opposition’s attempts to instigate farmers by spreading what he said was misinformation about the farm reforms and called the Hathras incident as “sad” and the politics around it as reprehensible.
Shah, who spent several weeks in hospital in the last few months recovering from Covid and its after effects, said he now felt absolutely fine and urged people to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to wear masks, use sanitisers and observe social distancing until a vaccine is ready.
On West Bengal, where the BJP is locked in an intense battle with the Trinamool Congress led by CM Mamata Banerjee, Shah decried the unprecedented political violence in the state and predicted his party would win next year’s assembly elections there..
Detailed coverage of the interview and the transcript will also be available on Network18’s digital platforms led by News18.com.