RUVAbgOoHarish Chandra Singh Rawat who took over as the seventh Chief Minister of the hill state of Uttarakhand on February one, 2014 is a prominent leader from the state having risen from the grassroots. The 68 year old Rawat had served as Union Minister at the Centre and brings his experience which the Congress expects would help it in the coming Assembly elections in the state. Rawat spoke to Sri Krishna on various issues ranging from the ongoing JNU to centre-state relations.
Q: How do you view Centre-State relations in todayâ€™s scenario ?
In fact, the Centre maybe very friendly towards BJP ruled states or NDA ruled states. But as far as Congress-ruled States are concerned or states which are ruled by opposition parties, that is opposition to BJP, they are not taking care of our financial or any other problems and in fact the NITI Ayog which has come in place of Planning Commission has become very ineffective and the government is not even listening to the recommendation made by the NITI Ayog which is happening for the first time. Earlier, when there was Planning Commission, they used to discuss various matters with the States and once they used to get settled there and than, subsequently the Planning Commission used to get the concurrence from Finance Ministry. However, all that has changed and now everything is decided by the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office (PMO). It is but natural that the Centre is not friendly to the States but at least they should acknowledge that the States growth too matter and is indeed important. For the development of the country, there should be development of the states too.
Q: What is your view on the ongoing JNU issue?
For political reasons, Delhi Police and the Central Government have blown this issue out of proportion and if there was any thing or any sloganeering which was prejudicial to the Indian state, it should take action against those who have made these kind of statements. But, unnecessarily they have registered case against JNU students union President Kanhaiya Kumar even when there is no evidence. In fact, even the so called CD they found turned out to be doctored and this is wrong. Now it is upto the Central Government to find out why Delhi Police has acted like this. It is for the central government to decide.
Q: What is your view of the repeated attacks on Congress leaders and vice president Rahul Gandhi by the BJP ?
We are happy. The Prime Minister is now again and again attacking our leader Rahul Gandhi and thus he is acknowledging his emerging power and emerging stature. As opposition, I feel happy that my leader is now giving some sleepless nights to the Prime Minister and now he is explaining the behaviour and conduct of the government. The prime minister had said that when he comes to power he would unearth everything that is black but now they have developed a scheme where everything is black.
Q: How is you partyâ€™s preparation for the assembly elections which are due in about ten to eleven months from now?
We are in a good position and I am confident that we would do well. We have another 10 to 12 months to go for elections and the way we are moving people are happy.
Q: What is your view on this ongoing debate about tolerance and intolerance?
Tolerance is part of Sanathan Dharma and Hindu culture is known for its tolerance but some people feel they can impose their views on others. However, the moment you think you can impose your thinking on others than it means you are no longer tolerant and in parliamentary democracy intolerance has no place and everything should be tolerated. But now in this country, these people think they are only right and that they are the only persons who have any place in society.