Need a broad-based alliance to form govt: Jaitley
Asserting that even in the pre-poll scenario, the National Democratic Alliance had ‘reasonably expanded’ he said, ‘We have alliances in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and a bit in Uttar Pradesh. Also in some of the North-Eastern states we have a partner hopefully in Andhra Pradesh. In areas we don’t have an alliance, there is always a scope for non-Congress parties to cooperate with us. We will certainly explore that possibility even after the elections,’ said the leader.
Asserting that ‘decision-making’ would be the immediate change one would see after the NDA comes to power, Jaitley added, ‘ We will differ from the previous government on three issues - firstly recreation of the investment cycle in India and rebuilding the Indian economy. Secondly, we will be stronger on national security issues and finally we will have a greater emphasis on probity.’
The BJP stalwart insisted that ‘business is an asset to the country’. ‘Those who want to merely distribute poverty will be hostile to business,’ he said in an oblique reference to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. Asked, if the BJP would be pro big business, following the allegations made by Kejriwal regarding corruption, Jaitley said: ‘He (Kejriwal) talks without substance. Here is a decision which was taken by the Congress government on the gas price issue. BJP has said that the decision should be revisited. The standing committee on finance headed by Mr Yashwant Sinha was the first to make that recommendation. But Mr Kejriwal is a person who can ignore the facts and manufacture a new set of facts and base his allegations on that.’
‘I don’t support corruption but I would like the business and industrial activities in this country to expand. That is an asset for the county. That is not a sin. Everyone in India should be pro-business because that is how economic activity is carried out. Pro business and probity can coexist,’ he added.
Jaitley said that ultimately the surging Modi wave will help them win, as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate ‘is the flavour of this election.’ But would infighting in the party, hamper the BJP’s prospects? ‘Out of 541 constituencies we have a rebel candidate only in two. That is quite natural for a large party.’
On managing work at the centre and also in his constituency, Jaitley said, ‘When parliament is not in session we are able to devote a lot more time to our constituencies and take out chunks of 3 to 4 days at a stretch for our constituencies. We have to do that frequently. But when parliament is in session it’s a little difficult as you have to balance time between your constituency and spending time in parliament. I will have a residential base here also and operate from the party office here.’