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4:09 am - Tuesday November 21, 2017

Uma supports Shivraj’s ‘MP roads are better than US’ statement

Agencies, Bhopal

Coming out in the support of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s statement that the state’s roads are better than the United States, Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday lamented that the mindset prevailing in the country is that nothing could be better in India than the US.

“We believe that English is the only language for communication, that the US is the most developed nation and that we stand nowhere in comparison to the US,” Ms Bharti told media here. Her statement comes in the wake of Mr Chouhan’s statement in the US that he felt that roads in Madhya Pradesh are better than that in the US.

His comment earned more brickbats than bouquets on social media including a barrage of criticism from the principal-opposition Congress. Opining that this inferiority complex has taken roots in the minds of countrymen, particularly among the educated class, she stressed on the need for the country to come out of this mindset — at least in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s era.

“India has certain things that can exist nowhere. For instance, the pillars of the Rameshwaram Temple or the paintings of Ajanta and Ellora caves can never be replicated elsewhere,” averred Ms Bharti. “I stand completely alongside Mr Chouhan on the matter. I believe that India is better than the US in many aspects.

Certain roads here can be better than the US. Our youths are considered as very intelligent by multinationals,” she noted. Ms Bharti said that Mr Chouhan’s statement had stirred a debate that whether or not India can be better than other countries.

Ram Temple could be settled out of court

Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday described the dispute on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya as basically a land dispute that could be settled outside the court.

Ms Bharti made the statement in response to a media query over reports that Art of Living Founder and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar trying to mediate in the issue for facilitating an out of court settlement.

“There were two aspects related to the Ram Temple. First, whether it was Ramjanambhoomi or not. In 2010, a three-member bench agreed that the middle dome belonged to ‘Ram Lalla’.

There was no dispute over the matter,” she said. “Later, the ruling was challenged – but not on the premise that whether or not the middle dome belonged to ‘Ram Lalla’. The challenge was on its present ownership – whether it belonged to the Waqf Board or the Ram Nyas,” said Ms Bharti.

She said that the issue of Ramjanambhoomi has been resolved in reality. Now, the issue is of building the temple structure. For the purpose, the land dispute needs to be resolved and could be settled out of court. Therefore, anyone can play a role in it.

Hardik should continue to fight

Describing Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel as a combative leader, Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday said he should continue his fight despite the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would emerge victorious in Gujarat elections.

“However, he is speaking against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gujarat’s public is going to support the Premier and the BJP would get strong majority,” said Ms Bharti while replying to a media query here. “I have been monitoring Hardik and I would suggest that Hardik would gain more strength if he remains non-political.

I also monitored Kanhaiya Kumar. Had he not commented against Mr Modi, he too was emerging as a combative leader,” she said. “However, these leaders start speaking against Mr Modi thinking that this strategy would fetch them more TRPs. In their search for TRPs, they are not preparing their foundation,” said Ms Bharti.

She pointed out that speaking against Mr Modi may earn TRPs but it would not bring them votes. For that, one needs to produce an alternate to Mr Modi’s development model. Only then one might get support. In response to another query, Ms Bharti stressed that reservation is a necessity for the country and would continue.

“There has not been discrimination on the basis of religion but there has been discrimination on the basis of caste. Thus, the country needs reservation,” said Ms Bharti. However, she said it should be considered from time to time to determine who should be provided reservation.

Not much change in my role towards Ganga

Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti on Monday said her cabinet portfolio has changed but she does not perceive much change in the nature of her role towards the Ganga.

“Whatever seems like new, is not actually new. For instance, my present cabinet portfolio includes the Ganga – besides other rivers such as the Yamuna and the Saraswati,” Ms Bharti told media here. Union Shipping, Roads Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari was recently given the charge of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation during the Union Cabinet reshuffle in September.

“Mr Gadkari had been monitoring the Ganga along with me previously too. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constituted a team wherein I was taking guidance of Mr Gadkari particularly in financial matters related to the Ganga. I was mainly looking at the public awareness aspect,” she said.

“I had earlier stated that if I am permitted I would stay near the Ganga and spread awareness – because the Ganga issue is basically an issue of public awareness. Now, Mr Gadkari is saying that the work related to Ganga would be carried out by me. Therefore, I am not seeing much change in my work,” said Ms Bharti.

Rahul needs to be more serious

Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday advised Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to abstain from anti-Modi politics and exhibit more seriousness.

“I would advise Mr Gandhi that the opposition to Mr Modi would show him in poor light. It would only expose his jealousy. Ideology and not jealousy can be an election agenda,” said Ms Bharti while responding to a media query here.

“I feel that the bigger challenge for Mr Gandhi is not Mr Modi but his own non-seriousness. He needs to come out of it and cultivate a more serious image for himself,” she said.

Commenting on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Ms Bharti said that the Congress needs to explain issues on which it intends to lead the country. It needs to demonstrate states – ruled by it – as models to prove that their states are performing better.

She said that relying on anti-Modi politics was sure to backfire as it happened in Uttar Pradesh elections. “In Gujarat, the BJP is going to emerge victorious on more than 160 seats. Other parties would be confined to 30 seats if they continue with anti-Modi politics. This coun

Posted in: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

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