Congress general secretary CP Joshi, who is considered to be a close aide of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, says there is no Modi wave in the country. The former union minister expects the Congress to prove all opinion poll projections wrong by doing well in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. In an exclusive interview with dna's Pradip R Sagar, Joshi also talks about his strengths and weaknesses as a candidate from Jaipur Rural constituency.
Opinion polls and surveys are not going in your party's favour. Some of them are even projecting less than 100 seats for Congress. How do you react to this?
I cannot comment on the credibility of these surveys. These are all created by the media. If you go among the people, you will find a completely different picture. You must wait for the results.
Do you see a Modi wave in the country?
During my campaign, I have met thousands of people. And I can assure you, there is no such Modi wave in the field. It is all hyped and created by a section of the media. Modi is trying to turn this election into a US presidential election type with all these communication and IT tools.
Jaipur Rural constituency is new for you, are you aware of the problems?
I am from Rajasthan and no part of this state is new to me. I am interacting with the people in the constituency extensively and prioritising the problems in every region.
The opposition is dependent on the Modi factor and the corruption charges on UPA government. What is your strategy to counterpart this?
We accept that we did badly in the last Rajasthan assembly elections, but we are sure we will improve our tally in the Lok Sabha elections and prove the opinion polls wrong. BJP's 'Mission 25' in Rajasthan is a wishful thinking. We are asking people to vote for us on the basis of past experience. It's the Congress that has written the script of development in the country. Most of the development policies and schemes have been implemented by our party. We don't make false promises but believe in implementing and executing schemes for inclusive growth of the society. Over last so many years, we have established strong social and moral credentials that truly endorse our leadership.
Being an MP from the Bhilwara constituency, you ensured proper development of roads but drinking water-related issues still exist. How do you explain this?
For a very long time drinking water is being supplied to Bhilwara through trains and this when it is an industrial hub. I tried my best to solve this problem and also got Rs 2,223.67 crore sectioned under Chambal-Bhilwara drinking water project. Today, the infrastructure is in place though it takes time in getting clearances from environment conservation bodies for the tap water to reach every household.
The new government in the state has been formed 3-4 months back under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje. Why should the people trust the Congress? How are you going to make an impact?
I don't see a single initiative taken to fulfil the promises they made during elections. Vasundhara Raje government's performance has not raised any hope for the people. I am interacting with people in my constituency and explaining UPA's contribution to nation-building by making the right base entitlement for ample employment, health, education, food security bill and MNREGA. We empowered people with the right to information. My party has been constantly pitching for anti-corruption legislations and we introduced RTI and other anti- graft laws. The UPA regime has dealt with corruption in right earnest by launching investigations against all politicians accused of corrupt practices.
If your party returns to power, what will be its priorities for the third term?
I am very confident that we will come back with full majority. The priorities for UPA 3 are very clear -- to transform the country into a manufacturing hub, to create an investment-friendly economic scenario, to provide right to health, to empower women, and to uplift the farmers, labourers, artisans, handicraft workers, weavers and underprivileged.