Union Minister RS Prasad, BJP’s LS candidate from Patna Sahib, said there is a tsunami in favour of the NDA, and that the BJP would get a majority on its own. Talking to Bikash Singh, he also said Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was daydreaming about cobbling up an alliance of opposition parties. Excerpts:

What is your assessment of poll prospects for the NDA?

BJP is going to get a majority on its own and together with NDA, the number of seats will be massive. The air strikes post-Pulwama terror attack have enhanced the self-respect of the country. The massive development work, including big reforms like GST, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, besides the triple talaq issue and massive strides in digitisation of the economy has put India in a different league. I featured in the top 20 most influential people in digital government. We have removed as many as 1,500 old laws and India’s digital economy generates about $200 billion of economic value.

On Internal security becaming a the main campaign issue

After the government’s response to the terror attack and air strikes on the terrorist camp in Pakistan, India’s might was recognised globally. National security became a core issue. Post-Pulwama, the Congress party resorted to lowering the morale of the armed forces by questioning it. Internal security became an important issue….

On Opposition allegation that BJP will take away quota for SCs, STs and OBCs

We have categorically stated that there will be no tinkering with this. BJP ensured constitutional status for the Commission for Backward Classes; we have done work for SCs, STs and OBCs. We have provided 10% reservation for economically backward sections. Opposition, including the Congress, is relying on falsehood. When the Election commission does not entertain their frivolous charges, it becomes bad. When they won elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, EVMs (electronic voting machines) were okay. Now, they are again talking about EVMs while the Lok Sabha polls are yet to be concluded.

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On doubts over vote transfer between the BJP and its allies

NDA is not a political alliance, it is a social alliance. BJP and Nitish Kumar share an old relationship. There has been smooth transfer of votes.

On Chandrababu Naidu trying to cobble up an opposition alliance

Naidu has all the rights to daydream. His party is heading for a crushing defeat in Andhra. These people will be exposed on May 23.

On opposition alleging PM Modi is making it a Presidential contest

This is an allegation of one family, when the brother (Rahul) failed, his sister (Priyanka) has come, and now even brother-in-law (Robert Vadra) has come in. Are these people talking of any issues. They just have one agenda — Modi hatao (remove Modi).

On Congress saying its NYAY (minimum income guarantee) scheme will be a game changer

If you take the tenure of PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and 10 years of Dr Manmohan Singh, the Congress has been in power for almost 32 years, without talking of PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s tenure. For almost 10 years, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi were principal factors of governance. For 32 years, what were they doing? What happened to the “Garibi Hatao” (remove poverty) slogan? Now, let them say who is responsible for this annyay (injustice). We have initiated the Ujjwala scheme and faster national highways. From Ayushman Bharat to direct benefit transfer (DBT) to PM Kisan and digitalisation, the country has made rapid strides.

On Congress has fielding two-time MP Shatrughan Sinha against him

Since class III, I have been a swayamsevak (volunteer). I have been the party’s in-charge for more than eight states and during the period, I fielded several MPs and MLAs. As Rajya Sabha MP, I have been more active than a Lok Sabha MP. This seat is a traditional stronghold of the BJP.

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