Media communicating message of just one person: Kapil Sibal
The media is taking forward the message of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi but not the achievements of the Congress, Law Minister Kapil Sibal has said, noting that people will decide why the "reality" was being hidden.
Sibal, 65, termed the BJP the "biggest party of corruption" and said it had a lot to answer for.
Sibal said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had some unprecedented achievements to its credit in its 10-year-rule.
"It is the country's misfortune that wrong propaganda is being brought before people. And the reality is being hidden. Who is hiding reality, why it is being hid, only the people will decide," Sibal told IANS in an interview.
"Communication has to be done by the media, not by the Congress party. The Congress has communicated everything. It is the media that has to take it forward. Why is the media only taking forward the message of one person in India? Why is the message of what we have done for this country in the last 10 years not being taken forward? There are great achievements we have made. Fourteen crore (140 million) people being brought out of poverty, this has never been witnessed in the history of India in one stretch," Sibal maintained.
Asked why the media was acting thus, Sibal quipped: "I don't know. Ask the media."
He said the right decisions in democracy will take place if facts on both sides are put before the people but that was not happening.
Asked about the Congress drubbing in last year's Delhi assembly polls, in which the Aam Aadmi Party emerged as a major force with 28 of the 70 seats, Sibal said issues were different in every election and there were also difference between issues in assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
"In every election, issues are different. And this is true that the BJP has through its propaganda and wrong data and wrong statements has created an atmosphere as if the Congress has not done anything in the last 10 years... Our manifesto lists our achievements," he said.
Lauding these achievements, he said the income level of the people had gone up and there was vast progress in areas such as agriculture.
Sibal, who is re-contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Chandani Chowk in Delhi, said the results in the national capital will be surprising.
"You will be surprised by the Congress performance in Delhi. All the poll surveys will prove to be substantially wrong," he said.
Hitting out at Modi, Sibal said the the Gujarat chief minister appears to think he will be prime minister.
"It is true that Modi has made up his mind for himself. People will tell on May 16 (the day the results are declared) what mind he has made up," Sibal said.
He said there was a projection that one person will change the face of India.
"The reality is that one person cannot do anything. In a democracy of 120 crore (1.2 billion) people, there cannot be the contribution of one person till the time the whole country walks with him. The person who is talking of taking the country with him today, his thinking is not of taking the people along which he did in Gujarat," Sibal said.
Referring to claims about the Gujarat model of development, Sibal said about 25 police officers in the state were in jail, two "corrupt ministers" were in the government and a former minister of state for home was facing an inquiry in a fake encounter case.
"We have not seen such administration in any other state of the country. And if this kind of administration is given to the country, if this is the administration that Modi has shown in Gujarat, I do not know how many police officers will be in jail and how many corrupt people will be in the central cabinet," he said.
Sibal, who is pitched against the BJP's Harsh Vardhan and Ashutosh of the Aam Aadmi Party in Chandani Chowk, refused to say who his biggest competitor was.
"We do not pay attention to this. We have to connect with people and people are connecting with us," he said.
Sibal, who is also minister for communications and IT, said he had implemented several works in his constituency including water reservoirs, a burial ground, parks and roads.
"The tender for the redevelopment of Chandni Chowk is complete. The battery rickshaw happened due to our thinking. Ambulances are being run for the people. Work done in each assembly has been brought out," Sibal said.
Sibal also made light of the BJP's "mission 272 plus" and said the party "was not there" in 215 of 543 Lok Sabha constituencies for which elections will be held. (Two seats are reserved for the Anglo-Indian community.)
He said the BJP was unlikely to get more than 120 seats in the Lok Sabha.
He also attacked the BJP over its barbs at the Congress on corruption.
"The BJP is the biggest party of corruption. (Some) of the party's former ministers in Karnataka are in jail... Look at Madhya Pradesh. The Lokayukta says he wants to act against ministers but papers are not being given to him. In Gujarat two corrupt ministers are in the government. And allegations (of corruption) are being made against the Congress," Sibal said.
(Prashant Sood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 01-04-2014)