Ranchi, March 11: Former chief minister Arjun Munda is busy planning his next move, a statewide tour to “expose power hungry” Congress and JMM. He also has to counter opposition within, from the likes of Yashwant Sinha, Raghubar Das and Sarayu Rai, all know detractors. In an interview to The Telegraph, Munda unveil his priorities.
TT: How do you feel after being out of power? What prompted you to quit as legislature party leader after proposing one-time dissident Ravindra Rai’s name for state BJP president?
Munda: I am relaxed. Now, I can devote adequate time to BJP’s political campaigns as an ordinary worker. I never proposed anyone’s name for state BJP president. I merely clarified ground realities before the party high command and urged the national president to take a conscious decision. I have never run after power and position.
Can you cite a few examples to show how the BJP always had great faith in you?
I joined the BJP in December 1999. I was made a minister in Jharkhand in November 2000. I was made chief minister thrice and also became the party’s national general secretary. But, I have never succumbed to pressure tactics. Saving the governments in 2006 or in 2013 were no big deals. But, that would have proved detrimental for the health of BJP and Jharkhand.
But, die-hard RSS veterans never trusted you. You had serious differences with the Late Kailashpati Mishra. Karia Munda and Yashwant Sinha have always stayed away from you. Second line leaders like Raghuvar Das and Sarayu Roy are also unhappy.
I always had great respect for all these leaders. But (laughs), running a coalition government has its own compulsions and I always headed coalition governments. If a senior leader willingly or unwillingly belittles the chief minister through his public remarks or actions, it has a direct impact on the functioning of entire machinery. And, I would really like to know how Arjun Munda is responsible for BJP’s poor performances at the elections since 2000.
Most of your former ministerial colleagues and MLAs have claimed that you always ignored them.
These people need to take public administration lessons, if not management courses. Most of the disputes were regarding transfers and postings, which I denied. You have to get work out of officials. Humiliating them will not help. Further, circumstances have changed a lot… even Class IV employees are well ware about their rights. But, I always took action against erring officials.
What are your future plans?
will be touring the state to apprise the masses about the nefarious designs of the Congress, JMM and JVM. An alternative government in the state will be a blessing in disguise for us.
Will you contest the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat?
The BJP high command will decide whether I would be contesting the next Lok Sabha elections. I am content serving the party organisation as an ordinary worker.