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BJP govt will bring down inflation by 25%: Nitin Gadkari

Saturday, 26 April 2014 - 8:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Outlining priorities if a BJP government came to power, former party chief Nitin Gadkari said it would aim to bring down inflation by 25% in around six months. In an interview to dna's Amita Shah, Gadkari, who chose to fight the tough Nagpur seat with sizeable Muslim population, exuded confidence of BJP's victory in all ten seats of Vidarbha. He blamed the Congress for "creating confusion" among Muslims and asked if the Modi government in Gujarat had taken any decision which discriminated against Muslims. Edited excerpts:

Mid-way through the elections, what are your expectations and how do you see the public mood?
I feel there are three things — price rise, corruption and the prime minister's silence. It's clear that people are angry with Congress, which has broken records in inflation and corruption. People want change. Under Narendra Modi's leadership, the Gujarat model has given hope to people on economic parameters. Even if you compare with BJP ruled states and Congress ruled ones, we have performed better. I am confident of the party getting a majority.

The BJP is hoping for big gains in Maharashtra...
We will get 35 seats in the state. About Vidarbha I am confident that we will win all ten seats.

The voting percentage in Mumbai was lower than other metros....
I think for those who do not have voting cards but have ID cards, a police verification can be done and they should be allowed to vote. It's not good that they are denied voting right.

What will the BJP's priority be if it comes to power?
Our aim will be that in six months, inflation is brought down by around 25%. To bring down prices, create an investment and industry friendly climate, infrastructure development, increasing exports and bringing the value of rupee to 40-45 against the dollar should be our priorities. We will also focus on rural economy and agriculture as if their concerns are not addressed there cannot be overall development.

Do you see this as a Modi-centric election?
NG: This is a misunderstanding. When we did not have a prime ministerial candidate, the media accused us of not having a face. Now when we have decided on a leader, it says its individual-centric. Whoever the prime ministerial candidate is, the election campaign will revolve around that person.

Will it be a vote for Modi or the party?
It will be anti-Congress vote. It will be a pro-Modi, pro-BJP vote.

Do you feel the election is getting polarised?
The Congress has communalised this election. Congress is a multi-communal party and it has created fear among people.

How will the party connect with Muslims?
Congress is creating confusion among Muslims. In Gujarat has the Modi government taken any decision which discriminates against Muslims? We don't want to pursue a policy of discrimination.

Priyanka Gandhi has been targeting Modi in Rae Bareli...
At the time of elections attack on policies is natural. But, personal allegations are inappropriate. The way Modi is being targeted is not good. All leaders and parties should refrain from personal attacks.

Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee have been critical of BJP. Do you see any hope of post-poll tie-ups with such parties?
We are confident that NDA will get absolute. Post-elections Modi and NDA will get support from a lot of parties.

You headed the team for drafting the vision document? When will it be released?
Before May 16, I will present the document to party chief Rajnath Singh.

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