Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today said his party needed to blend development with Hindutva and a “promising fight against corruption” for electoral victory even as he deprecated the way demonetisation exercise was being implemented.
Swamy said he supported the idea of demonetisation, but not the way in which it was being implemented.
The senior Rajya Sabha member, a known critic of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, criticised the Finance Ministry for lack of preparation before undertaking the exercise, saying an economist should helm it.
“Economic development is a must, but you can win the polls (even) if the economy is flattened,” Swamy said speaking during a conclave organised by Aaj Tak.
To back his claim, he said, former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao introduced economic reforms and took the economy from 3 per cent to 9 per cent, while Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure saw a phenomenal 14 per cent industrial growth. However, both lost the polls.
“Our (BJP) spokespersons keep talking about development, but they should learn from (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee because even he talked about India Shining (BJP’s campaign slogan in 2004 Lok Sabha polls) and left other things. We lost badly and (the BJP tally) were reduced to half,” Swamy said, adding “in politics, economic development is a must, but that is not sufficient”.
Advocating a three-pronged approach to win polls, Swamy said, economic development is a must, but it should be blended with “Hindutva and a promising fight against corruption.”
“The politics that has been going on before 2014 was (about) how to divide the votes on caste, region, religion and language, by consolidating the minority and dividing the majority.
“If one has to combat that, then majority vote has to be consolidated. Hindus are 80 per cent, but BJP got 31 per cent votes (in 2014). Consolidating Hindu vote is compulsory,” he said.
Swamy said there was no need for the Lok Sabha to pass Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, which gives people with unaccounted cash another chance to come clean.
Instead, he said, Income Tax should have been abolished.
The BJP leader also agreed with MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who was a participant in the panel discussion, that the informal sector will collapse because of demonetisation and the country would have to face dire consequences because of that.
(With PTI input)