New Delhi: The Opposition is attacking parliamentary democracy by indulging in negative politics, said Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Labour & Employment.
In an exclusive interview with ThePrint during his visit to Rajasthan as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, Yadav also hit out at the Opposition for playing “dirty politics” over Covid vaccination.
“It’s not Opposition’s role to break tables and chairs inside the Parliament. They held the entire House hostage and did not even allow the PM to introduce newly-inducted ministers. At first, they practiced some dirty politics over Covid vaccination and now they have blocked all legislative functions inside the Parliament.”
He also said the Opposition should apologise to the people of the country for not allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the new Council of ministers during the Parliament session.
“Only those who hold complete faith in parliamentary decorum can compete with Modi. During the Monsoon session, the attitude displayed by the Opposition was extremely irresponsible. They did not allow the Parliament to function at all. Only indulging in negative politics is not Opposition’s main role,” the Union minister added.
‘Oppn should apologise’
Responding to the question on the Opposition’s demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue and withdrawal of contentious farm laws, Yadav said, “On the issue of Pegasus, the Government of India itself came forward and provided all the answers through Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. It was the Opposition’s right to ask all types of questions. Then why didn’t they ask any questions? In Rajya Sabha, when a discussion on farm laws was scheduled to take place, raucous scenes were witnessed inside Parliament. Why did they throw papers at the Chair by climbing atop the tables, chairs, and also on the Speaker’s table? They had absolutely no right to display such violent behaviour. The Opposition should answer all these questions first.”
On being reminded that between 2009 and 2014, former ministers Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj had also obstructed the Parliament on various occasions, as leaders of the opposition, and that the Opposition is well within its rights to raise issues in the House, Yadav said, “Of course they are free to cause such disruptions, but where is the place for violence in all this? Which parliamentary democracy in the world allows violent acts like climbing atop the tables, throwing books and papers, etc? How is this righteous? The Opposition should tender an unconditional apology for all this.”
Yadav further said that the BJP’s ultimate goal is nation-building and making India self-reliant.
“Our party is functioning with a basic idea and the ultimate goal of that basic idea is that of nation-building. The concept of self-reliant India, which is being promoted by our PM across the country, and the progress that India has made in various fields is made possible only through constant public contact, dialogue, and service. If any democratic party reaches out to the people through public service and constant dialogue with the people, then it really strengthens the democracy.
Jan Ashirwad Yatra
Yadav also said the BJP has decided to directly interact with the general public through ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatras’ following the Monsoon session washout.
Thirty-nine ministers, who were inducted into the Union council of ministers in July, will be part of these yatras in 22 states, which started on 16 August.
The primary motive behind these yatras is to debunk allegations levelled by the Opposition and to communicate directly with the people, the BJP has said.
Yadav, a dynamic OBC leader and a prominent face in the Modi government, who embarked on the Yatra from Gurgaon in Haryana on 16 August and then reached Bhiwadi in Rajasthan on 19 August has interacted with a large number of people in the two states through more than 100 small and big rallies. He has been entrusted with the responsibility of conveying the party’s message in these two states.
Caste-based census & reservation
On being asked about the Modi government’s stand on growing caste-based census demands and to relook 50 per cent reservation limit, Yadav said, “Those who could not provide reservation for 50 long years have no right to pose any such questions to us. Our government believes in the inclusive development of all sections of society in order to sustain inclusive growth. All benefits of welfare schemes are delivered to each and every section of the society through NSSO survey. Our government remains fully committed to creating a completely inclusive society.”
Yadav said the Modi government provided constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes, made a provision to raise the income ceiling of OBC creamy layer, provided 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in medical colleges and central schools, and passed the OBC Amendment Bill.
The Union minister further said the government is working for the inclusive development of all the backward sections of society at the economic level through schemes like Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan, Public Toilets, Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana, among others.
“Our only resolve is sabka saath, sabka vikas. The development of each and every section of society remains the one and only goal of this government. Our Prime Minister has always emphasised two aspects of welfare schemes. The first one is targeted delivery and the other one is the last-mile delivery. It means that benefits of all the schemes should be delivered within a stipulated time frame and they must reach the last leg of the delivery chain. It has always been the primary goal of our government due to which we have been able to gain so much trust of the common public.”
Database for migrant workers
Talking about the steps taken by the government in the aftermath of the migrants’ crisis that followed the imposition of nationwide lockdown last year, Yadav, who also holds the labour & employment portfolio, said they are conducting a survey of migrant workers.
“For the first time in India, we are conducting a survey of migrant labourers through Labour Bureau. The NSSO survey that has been taking place in the past is conducted on the basis of workforce only. This time we are conducting an institutional survey to identify these workers. The government has approved the collection of data about how many jobs are there in which organisation and how many more jobs/workers are required. This is being done so that status of skilled and unskilled employment can be known.”
He also said the government is going to launch a website for workers in the unorganised sector, through which they will be able to register themselves. Once they register their names, the government will provide social security insurance to them. “It is for the first time that the government is going to take such a big step for the unorganised sector. Apart from this, with the introduction of new labour code, the scope of social security code is also going to increase.”
‘BJP will form next govt in Rajasthan’
Yadav also said the BJP will form the next government in Rajasthan with a three-fourth majority. The saffron party had lost to the Congress in 2018 assembly elections.
“You must mark my words. Whenever the next assembly election is held in Rajasthan, BJP will form the government with three- fourth majority. Team Rajasthan is working in a united manner. Satish Poonia (state BJP minister), all Union Ministers like Gajendra Shekhawat Arjun Meghwal, Kailash Chaudhary, Central-level office bearers etc. are all working in tandem with one idea only. Good governance will return in Rajasthan only when BJP government is formed here once again.”
Replying to the question on Haryana being Yadav’s janambhhomi (the place of birth) and Rajasthan being his karmabhoomi (the land of of work) and that leaders from both states have been demanding more representation for OBC leaders, Yadav said, “CM Khattar did not say that I should handle Haryana, he only said that youth should come forward in the party. It has always been a tradition of the BJP to promote a new line of leadership after every 15-20 years. This has been possible in the BJP because we are not a party reliant on a single-family only.”
“As a common worker of the party, I have always worked in whatever roles and places that the party has deemed appropriate for me whether it is in Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka or in UP.”