The Union Minister for Culture, Tourism & Development Of North Eastern Region (DoNER) also held the Congress responsible for every problem in the country, and said that Sonia Gandhi has "no right" to criticise the BJP.
In an interview with IANS, the BJP leader and MP from Telangana expressed his views on a range of topics, including the party's foundation day, Vikas Yatra and prospects of BJP's expansion in south Indian states, among others.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
Q: What's your take on the message that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave to the party cadres on BJP's Foundation Day?
A: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about the concerns of crores of workers and people of the country... Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the NDA government is working in 18 states. In the coming days, our goal is to make India a world leader again.
We have to make the country powerful by eliminating poverty and unemployment. For this, he (Prime Minister Modi) called upon all the workers to work together. He has asked the people of the country to stay away from family or individual-centric political parties because such parties have no principle and can do anything for power.
Q: BJP's journey started with only two Lok Sabha seats and today you have coalition governments in 18 states, with 301 MPs in the Lok Sabha. For the first time, the party's tally in the Rajya Sabha has crossed 100. How do you see this journey of 42 years?
A: When our journey started with just two seats, people made fun of us but we kept working hard under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Our workers worked hard, and sacrificed relentlessly.
Now, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, we have become the world's largest party. Today, the BJP is the number one party in the Lok Sabha as well as in the Rajya Sabha. We have governments in maximum number of states. The BJP is at the forefront in terms of number of SC, ST and women MLAs and MPs. Finally, a nationalist government is in power which is working in the interest of the country.
Q: The BJP is yet to make its presence felt in a big way in the south. Amit Shah has said on many occasions that the golden age of BJP is yet to come. What are the party's views in terms of expansion in south India?
A: You are right... At present we have government in two southern states -- Karnataka and Puducherry. In the coming days, we are going to form government in Telangana as well. The BJP will also emerge stronger in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, as people are angry with family and individual-centric parties in these states.
Q: Sonia Gandhi is criticising your government, alleging that the BJP is working on a divisive agenda. Your take...
A: Sonia Gandhi has no right to criticise the BJP on this issue. It is the Congress that has divided the country in the name of religion, caste, language and financial status. Whatever problems the country has today, the Congress is responsible for them.
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