‘‘Still, a long way to go!’’- Atul Garg, MoS,UP
(an exclusive audience of our Executive Editor Parijat Tripathi with Mr Atul Garg, Minister of State, UP)
PT: Mr Minister, I welcome you to the Governance Today platform. With thanks, I would like to know when you joined the BJP along with the ideology of BJP you are proud of?
Atul Garg: Well, I am fortunate enough to have the political heredity from my birth. By the time I grew up I was already working for Bhartiya Janata Party. It’s been years since I am in politics. It was my father who was active in the party. I also worked with him for the party. I have learnt a lot out of my father and his works. After him now I am rendering my services for the party and for the state as well. Whatever I am today, I am due to my father. After him, it was my party which taught me a lot and yes it has also given me a lot in terms of trust and appreciation. Whatever responsibility party has entrusted on my shoulders, I am gladly obeying that with all my might and devotion.
PT: You are one of the senior most cabinet leaders of the UP government. Is there something special expected out of you from your Chief Minister?
Atul Garg: No, no. I am not a senior. Every one is senior there in the cabinet. I am just a small party worker. Whatever responsibility assigned by the party, I bear with all my obedience and will. Yogi ji is the senior most leader in the cabinet. All is being executed under his excellence command only. His devotion for the state is truly appreciable. I respect all his decisions and do everything as directed by him. The state expects a lot out of him. We are all working to fulfill the expectations of the people of our state.
PT: In the 2012 polls, the success stayed a few steps away from you. What were the loopholes you later realized as the significant lessons in your first electoral experience?
Atul Garg: the first experience is always the first experience. No matter what you get out of it – victory or failure, still one thing is sure you learn a lot. I also learned so many things out of the first poll experience of mine. Sure, there were some loopholes which stopped me to reach to the success. I bowed down before the people’s verdict. And then with double vigor and energy, I started working for my state from the platform of my party. And then in the next I mean in the last elections, I received the result of my expectations. The peopled had praised my contribution – and I want to thank the people of my state.
PT: They say, the RSS is running the BJP. What do you think – the policies of the BJP governance do really arrive from Nagpur?
Atul Garg: Yes, undoubtedly ! the RSS ideology is our fundamental ideology. But let me tell you, in this biggest non-governmental organization of the world you can see the best example of democracy. Sangh respects each and every worker with all their thoughts and ideas. They all have their say in the decision-making of the Sangh. Every Sangh worker has his own wit, intellect, experience, nationalism and constructive innovation which is recognized by Sangh. The main feature of the ideology which binds all of us is the mantra of NATIONALISM. This is why the BJP governance is as per the philosophy of Sangh. There is nothing wrong with it. Neither is this inappropriate nor unacceptable. Nation first as said by our PM Modi, is the main guiding formula taught to all of us by Sangh. It considers the nation as a family and nationalism as our duty for our family.
PT: Nationalism is the fundamental principle of your political platform. Kindly analyze this in terms of policy execution in your own words.
Atul Garg: Exactly, Nationalism is the fundamental principle of my political banner. Nationalism is the guiding mantra for our governance no matter what state it is in India. We are proud of being a nationalist. A person who is not a nationalist is not a patriot. Nationalism means the welfare of the nation. Whatever is related to the nation’s best interest is our duty as a nationalist. Whatever is in the interest of our nation is in the interest of our people. There is no difference between the people of our country and our county as such. The way home and family cannot be separated, nationalism is considered as our prime duty for our home. Our Sanatan Dharam is the reflection of humanity with all human values presented in it. And we are proud of having humanity in our blood the way we are proud nationalists. We do not hate outsiders but we love our people and our country more than anything in the world!
PT: PM Modi has his Clean India drive going very well in the country. One more cleanliness drive is going through your governance that is the cleanliness of corruption drive. Would you like to say something about it?
Atul Garg: Oh, yes! We are well intending to clean our country from outside as well as from the inside. This is our pledge and this is what is our endeavor. Cleanliness drive is a broad campaign in line with outer cleanliness which is a national drive. Our cleanliness of corruption mission is also a broad-scale drive which is being carried out by all the BJP governments in their respective states in India. The way the outer cleanliness is needed, in the same way, is our inner cleanliness significant. Cleanliness of corruption drive is an endeavor of our inner cleanliness. If we are dirty from the inside, we can never be clean from the outside. This is the campaign of the display of cleanliness in our character.
PT: What kind of difference do you see in Uttar Pradesh of the previous government and the Uttar Pradesh of your governance?
Atul Garg: Yes, definitely, there is lots of change we behold today in Uttar Pradesh of today. I would love to talk about the change people are witnessing in today’s UP. It is well visible in the state. After the execution of our governance Uttar Pradesh, in fact, is getting transformed into a Uttam Pradesh which was otherwise no way possible. Look at any nook or corner of governance in the state, you sure will find a change, a change towards betterment. Be it Law and enforcement, be it education, be it health or roads or light – everywhere the difference is transparent. Whatever the needs of the people are there, we are here to make efforts to fulfill them. We are doing exactly what Vivekanand ji had said – Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is achieved! What the people before us had claimed was a joke, we all know but if the same thing we say, that is a reality – Kaam Bolta hai !
PT : Fake ration card is one of the grave issues all over India. How are you going to tackle the challenge? How is your pilot project going on towards weeding out fake ration cards?
Atul Garg: Yes, we are working on it. Soon the government is going to set up a real-time online database of ration cards. and the beneficiaries under the national food security scheme to end any possibility of anyone procuring a fake or more than one ration card from any part of the country. In order to weed out fake ration cards soon, the government will assign a unique identification number to each ration card. This integrated online system will help the issuing authorities to detect whether an applicant has already got a ration card in any other part of the country. This system will also enable lakhs of migrant workers to get subsidized food-grains irrespective of the place from where the cards are issued.
PT: What do you expect out of media in the direction of good work you are carrying on.
Atul Garg: of course, we have all the expectations from our media. We expect them to behold our work, we expect them to render their support for our good work and we also expect them to make people aware of all the work being done for them. Our work is the execution of good policies and the work of media is to spread the information to the people. Their work is also equally significant for the people. This is not only our expectation as the leaders and the executors but also it is the expectation of people so that they could well enjoy the benefits and facilities of our work for them. We want to work for people and we want the media to come with us for them so that they could come to know what is being done on behalf of the government for them. We invite our media to walk hand in hand with us for the welfare of the people. Thank you.
PT : Thanks very much, for your time, Mr Minister! We wish you all the very best for your good endeavors promising you that we are with you always. Thank you.