Suresh Prabhu, PM Modi’s sherpa for G20, speaks about the impasse over Sena joining BJP govt in Maharashtra, India’s stand on trade facilitation and why the coal allocation ordinance was ‘laudable’.
the pro-Muslim MIM has made inroads in Maharashtra. Do you see the political discourse in the state getting communally polarised like in Uttar Pradesh or elsewhere? We cannot equate two different parties and call them rightist. Of course, Western media keeps calling the BJP ‘the Hindu nationalist party’.
I once told one of their journalists, ‘Tell me a party which is anti-nationalist’. There is nothing wrong in being a nationalist party. If a party is not nationalist, then there is something wrong with the party and the people will always reject it. Now for the rightist tag. Eighty-five per cent of India is Hindu. The BJP and Shiv Sena have repeatedly said that they do not stand for Hindus in the limited sense… All those who believe in India are Hindu. But some parties, and I don’t want to name anyone, do not believe in India’s sovereignty. You cannot compare such parties with either the BJP or Shiv Sena.