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08/13/08
Can she rule India? - ‘No force can stop me from becoming PM’-The second most important woman of Indian politics is all set to rock the established hierarchy of power as the ambitious leader of a formidable coalition. The country suddenly gets another prime minister in waiting, writes Prabhu Chawla.
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 7:15 am

http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/


FIRST ON INDIA TODAY


Can she rule India?

The
second most important woman of Indian politics is all set to rock the
established hierarchy of power as the ambitious leader of a formidable
coalition. The country suddenly gets another prime minister in waiting,
writes Prabhu Chawla.


‘No force
can stop me from becoming PM’

After her surprise anointment as the UNPA’s
prime ministerial candidate, BSP supremo Mayawati’s confidence levels have
reached a new high. She told Editor Prabhu Chawla that she is
destined to become the country’s prime minister. An exclusive interview:

Q. Finally a Original Inhabitant of
Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most
communities of the world’s daughter’s name has been finalised for prime
minister. How did this happen?

A. Apart from being a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that
is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world ’s daughter, I am also the daughter of India. Don’t forget that India’s highest
populated state has given me four chances to be CM. I have worked not just for
the Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath
which is one of the top most communities of the world  but for all sections of
the society. I am born in India
so I am not just Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great
Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the world  ki beti
but also Prabuddha Bharath
ki beti
.

Q. You said there was a conspiracy
against a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha
Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the world ’s daughter
becoming PM.

A. Everyone saw it. And they (my political rivals) have seen
what a good government I have given in UP, so they are scared that if the BSP
forms a government at the Centre and Mayawati becomes PM, they will have to
wait for a long time to come back to power at the Centre.

That is why they thought it is better we don’t
let her come to power at all. Moreover, the BJP and the Congress I think are
alike—whether at the Centre or at the state, their governments have economic
policies that make rich industrialists richer and the poor poorer. So they know
that once they are removed from power, all their rich industrialist friends
will suffer while the poor, the farmers and small industrialists will benefit,
and they don’t want that.

Q. So they won’t let you become the PM?

A. This kind of question was raised even when the BSP was
improving in UP and there was a chance that I could become chief minister. But
I did become UP chief minister, and I think a day will come when the wishes of
the oppressed, the poor, the downtrodden and beloved Dr Ambedkar will come
true. One day, this section will get political power. If I can become UP chief
minister, then I think a day will surely come when the dreams of our people
will come true.

Q. Will the dream be realised through
Mayawati?

A. Definitely, it will come true.

Q. So you think that your becoming PM is
only a matter of time. Nothing can stop you now.

A. A movement has begun. When the time comes, no one can stop.
No one could stop me from becoming the chief minister of UP.

Q. Will you be able to run the
government? Can you rule India?

A. This question was also raised in UP before I became chief
minister. But from Independence
till today, if you compare all the sarkars to my government and ask
the aam janta of UP, they will tell you that Mayawati is the best. So
if I can give UP-which is India’s
largest state—the best sarkar, why can’t I do the same at the Centre?

Q. Do you have an agenda for governance?

A. Of course I have.

Q. But until now you were limited to UP
and you didn’t even meet leaders of other parties.

A. I did meet other leaders, but I also had to run my party. I
did both.

Q. If you do become the PM, what is your
agenda for governance? What are your views on privatisation and economic
reforms that Manmohan Singh started?

A. Our sarkar’s economic agenda will benefit the country’s
poor and weaker sections. It will benefit all sections of the society.

Q. You are talking like Indira Gandhi,
Gareebi hatao, desh
bachao
“.

A. My party is not against privatisation. Like we have done in
UP, at the Centre too we will see that the country’s Scheduled Castes have the
benefits of reservations. When a government office is privatised, reservation
rights should be protected as I have done in UP. Apart from the Scheduled
Castes, we will take care of the minorities, Backward Classes and also the
economically poor among the upper castes. I have written to the Centre about
reservation in government jobs for the economically poor among upper castes.

Q. Should there be foreign investment in retail?


A. There are different castes and religions in India, lots of
poor and jobless, so we will take all this into account.

Q. Should there be FDI in retail?

A. The interests of the small shopkeepers must be protected.

Q. So you are not against FDI in retail?

A. No I am not.

Q. What about the nuclear deal?

A. The Congress is claiming that because of this deal we will
get cheap electricity. This is wrong. Whatever electricity we get will be much
more expensive and it will take 10-15 years to get it. And the output will be
only 8-10 per cent more than what we are getting. It will be so expensive that
neither the poor nor the small industrialists will be able to use it.

Q. So will you cancel the nuclear deal?

A. When my government is formed, we will rethink this deal and
examine if it’s in the nation’s interests or not. We are told that America has put conditions on India, like if they attack Iran, India will have to offer support.
Such conditions are meant to make India a slave.

Q. Before opposing this deal, you must
have read it.

A. We do not agree with this deal. We will rethink it.

Q. But the Left is totally opposed to America and
they are supporting you.

A. Whenever we do a deal with any country, we must first take
into account the country’s interests. When my party comes to power at the
Centre, we will take into account all sections of the society while making
policies.

Q. Opposition parties claim that your
politics is caste-based. Does this suit a prime minister?

A. The people who make such allegations are the ones who are
indulging in caste politics. The BSP has finished jaativaad in this
country and wants to bring together all sections of the society. The charge
that the BSP is jaativaadi is false.

Q. Maybe this is because
you are now being promoted as the leader of UNPA.


A. I am the leader of BSP. The UNPA is different, the Left is
separate. They all have their own leaders.

Q. But they are promoting you as the PM,
no one else.

A. I welcome this suggestion and I am grateful.

Q. But other leaders of the UNPA like
Chandrababu Naidu and Chautala belong to forward castes. How does
behen
Mayawati fit into all this?

A. The Left parties and other members of the UNPA have
realised that Mayawati in UP has included all sections of the society in the
BSP’s way of thinking. Along with the backward sections and the minorities, it
has also sent upper castes to Parliament and the state assembly and given them
posts in the ministry. They don’t see her as jaativaadi but as one who
takes all sections of the society together.

Q. Well you do have the slogan. But
these leaders first went to Mulayam. When that did not work out, they came
after you in the hope that by sailing in your boat they too will get somewhere.
And then, they will leave you too?

A. The names that you have mentioned did at first go to
Mulayam, and you say that they will leave me too. But in the UPA and NDA too,
there are many allies who are attracted to the BSP. And there will be a time
when they too will join us.

Q. So there will be some attempt to
break parties.

A. I am against breaking any party, but those who come on
their own are welcome.

Q. But you will still need the Congress
or the BJP to become PM. How will a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is
the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world
  ki beti become PM without their
help?

A. With Lok Sabha elections a few months away, I am sure that
the BJP and Congress, along with their allies, will not get more than 200 seats
together. The rest will be 340. So I will not need the BJP or the Congress.

Q. Their company will come to you?

A. No, I will not need their company. They will come to me on
their own.

Q. On one side is the “Note
Gate” and on the other side there is terrorism. But there seems to be
little desire to fight terrorism.

A. I think the way wads of money were placed in Parliament and
MPs are being bought over, this should be condemned.

Q. What about terrorism?
A. The state governments should get together and plan and
strategise to counter it. The borders of our country are not strengthened.

Q. Who do you blame for the rise in
terrorism? Is it minority appeasement, weak governance or the lack of a strong law?

A. We should not link terrorism with politics, but the states
and the Centre should sit and strategise how to contain it.

Q. For this we need a strong law. But
POTA has been removed. Even you are against POTA.

A. No. I think that central and state governments should make
strict laws. Not POTA, but there can be other strict laws.

Q. Like MCOCA in Maharashtra?
Gujarat wanted to make a strong law but was
not allowed.

A. In UP too we have passed a law but the Centre has not
okayed it.

Q. So would you say the Centre is weak
in formulating laws?

A. Yes. Also, our borders are weak. After all, the terrorists
enter our country from across the borders. So it’s up to the central government
to make the borders strong and make a law along with the states.

Q. A law like POTA?

A. Not necessarily but a strong law.

Q. Our Muslim brothers say they are
against terrorism as much as the rest of us, yet they say that to appease the
Muslim vote we won’t make a strong law.

A. If a person commits a wrong, you should not punish the
entire community.

Q. Should Mohd Afzal be hanged? The
Supreme Court has said he should be.

A. This is for the courts and the government to decide.

Q. But in the name of terrorism,
politics is being played.

A. That’s not good.

Q. Will you do anything to stop this?

A. When I become PM, we will try and create such a situation
that there will be no terror incidents.

Q. How will you ensure this? Will you
make a strong law?

A. Maybe there will be no need to make a strong law. There
will be such an environment that there will be no need for it.

Q. The terrorists will feel scared of
you and not come out?

A. (laughs)

Q. The word supremo is often used for
you. It evokes dictatorship more than democracy. It is used for Bal Thackeray
and Jayalalithaa.

A. That title I didn’t give myself. You keep calling me that,
so ask yourself.

Q. But do you work like a dictator?

A. No, I believe in democracy and take everyone’s views into
account.

Q. It is often said that how a Original
Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of
the top most communities of the world
  ki
beti could collect so much money and have so many houses.

A. The CBI has given a false affidavit to the court. When my
lawyer presents my case, the truth will come out.

Q. But charges are being laid against
you

A. This is all because of political pressure, whether it is
the UPA or the NDA. It is all politics.

Q. There was so much bonhomie between
you and Sonia. She came and wished you on your birthday. What happened between
the two sisters suddenly?

A. Milna julna alag cheez hai and politics is
separate.

Q. And now Amar Singh is
in the central government indirectly. Are you feeling threatened?


A. I am not but I can say for sure that the Congress will be
feeling threatened that if not today then tomorrow he will do something against
them.

Q. Have you gone soft on Amar Singh?

A. No I have not. The UP assembly results threw them out of
the government and installed me. So if the people of UP have already killed
them then why should I bother to do anything? Mare huey ko kyon maarna?

Q. You had earlier made charges of
corruption against them and said you will send them to jail. Have you forgiven
them?

A. No.

Q. Or is it that you did not find
anything?

A. Whatever the charges of corruption against them, the cases
are going on in the Supreme Court. Why should I come in the middle of that? And
why should I feel scared of weak people?

Q. But Amar Singh and Mulayam have been
reborn. They have become more powerful.

A. They are now more dead than ever.

Q. They sit and eat with the PM and meet
Sonia every day.

A. Dining is not everything. The way this government has been
saved, they will get no political gains out of this.

Q. There is talk of pressing ahead with
the cases against you. Don’t you think they must have made some sort of a deal?

A. Whenever there has been a political attack against me, via
the CBI or others, I have emerged stronger.

Q. So you are ready to fight?

A. Absolutely.

Q. So how do you keep so fit? Do you
exercise?

A. I don’t. I just keep busy with my work.

Q. No gym or personal trainer?

A. I don’t get the time for exercise, I just do my work.

Q. Do you control your diet?

A. I eat what I get.

Q. I have seen you for the last 15 years
and there is an image makeover. Was this part of a plan to ready yourself for
chief ministership and prime ministership?

A. I have done nothing. All this has happened naturally. I
keep busy with my work and that is my exercise.

Q. What hobbies do you have?

A. All 24 hours of the day, I think about the movement I am
associated with and how to take my party forward. How to help the backward and
weaker sections of our country. I keep making plans for them and that keeps me
busy.

Q. Weaving conspiracies?

A. No, plans.

Q. But politics is like conspiracy. How
to get to power etc

A. No, I don’t need to. My party is different from others; it
is both a mission and a movement.

Q. In the end, it is politics only-how
to get power.

A. I agree with Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar, who said that if any
section of the society wants to solve its problems, it has to get political
power.

Q. So to fulfill Babasaheb’s dream, this
Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is
one of the top most communities of the world
 
ki beti is readying her political arsenal.

A. Not just Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the
Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world  ki beti
but Prabuddha Bharath
ki beti
. I will fulfill Babasaheb’s dream, and those who believe in
Babasaheb are working to make this possible.

Q. I will ask you five questions and you
must answer them in one line. Who do you think is your biggest enemy? I am not
taking Amar Singh or Mulayam’s name.

A. I am against discrimination and untouchability and jaativaad.

Q. And your best friend? The one who
will put you in power?

A. The day our society that is divided on caste lines becomes
one.

Q. I am asking about individuals. There
have been 14 prime ministers in India.
Who do you like the best?

A. If I liked any one then I would not have felt the need to
form my own party.

Q. The worst?

A. They are all the same.

Q. Do you watch films?

A. No, I don’t. I barely get the time. I do watch the news
though.

Q. Do you have a favourite heroine?

A. Well, I don’t watch movies, so how will I have a favourite
heroine?

Q. Your favourite food? You do eat,
right?

A. (laughs) Yes, otherwise how will I stay alive.
Green vegetables, daal…

Q. Which is your favourite tourist spot?

A. Whenever I travel, I am so busy that I don’t have the time
to do any sightseeing.

Q. If you got a chance, where would you
like to go? After all, even Jawaharlal Nehru took a holiday sometimes.

A. I like natural surroundings. I am very fond of nature.

Q. Whom do you see as a political
villain in the country today?

A. (laughs)

Q. Is it Amar Singh or anyone other?

A. There is no shortage of such people in the country today.

Q. You don’t want to take a name?

A. Well you have taken the name yourself, so I don’t need to.