Bhopal: Congress leader Kamal Nath, the chief minister-designate of Madhya Pradesh, spoke to Prabhatesh Tripathi a day before taking oath, and said the electoral fight was with organisational and money might of BJP.
He was also critical of both his party and the Opposition BJP. Nath said that he has been working on farm loan waiver, generating employment and now, he is in talks with industrialists and has requested them to prepare a plan for Madhya Pradesh within a month. He said farmer loans will be waived and the government will opt for frugal measures and would cut down on expenses, tightening of debt and resource mobilisation.
Cong was in shambles when you came. How did you attain success?
It was coordination and unity among the leaders… we had to get back into the field to motivate demoralised party workers and inspire them. We were up against the organisational might and money power of the BJP.
The only choice we had was to match their organisational strength. BJP had taken over everything, government employees, various organisations and communities who had lost hope in the Congress. We had to develop faith in them. I don’t want sound to critical, but everything was in shambles in the Congress when I started, it meant making a strategy for every moment.
Did the glitches in the EVMs and VVPATs affect the Assembly election?
I still think that in Vindhya, the results do not commensurate with what voters say. I still have doubts over the EVMs in Vindhya. I have initiated a ‘forensic’ study of votes cast in Vindhya region. It is alike an exit poll, ask the voters. The study will be made by an independent agency. Congress workers will not be involved. Once I have that report, we will decide what to do.
Since the beginning you had objections on the poll process. What do you now have to say about the EC?
I must give Election Commission the credit for their efforts in free, fair and credible elections, both in Delhi and in the state. They were not trying to inspire or directing any wrongdoing.
Whatever happened was at local level, because they were getting calls and were being put to pressure, people have told me. Manipulation was possible while feeding the round-wise counting figures of the EVM’s, which is why we (Congress) demanded a signed copy of every round of tabulation. The authorities were under pressure not to announce the results.
Young voters seeking employment have high hopes from the new Congress government. how would you cope?
I have already said that generating employment is first priority. Although IT industry is in depression almost everywhere. But I have spoken to Shiv Nadar, chairman of HCL and my friends in TATA and have asked what could be done. I have spoken to other friends in different industries too and have requested them to prepare a plan for MP in a month and then we will meet. I am already working on it but will not splurge hundreds of crores to organise investors meet.