KJ Alphons has been the election-in-charge for BJP in Meghalaya and since then, he has been touring to the state to bring the modi-wave in the abode of cloud. BJP is always in question for the ‘beef-ban’ and the attacks on the minorities and it has been the challenge for Mr. Alphons to change the ‘illusive’ image of the saffron party in the state. While speaking to The Indian Express, the union minister did boast about the tourism industry (which is being handled by the minister) how it has seen the growth of 15.2 from the previous year’s data.
On the political scenario of Northeast
The union minister KJ ALphons said that the Northeastern part of the country has been badly ignored by the yester-year’s governments, he talked about improving the infrastructure and enhancing the tourism industry. He emphasized that once the saffron party comes in power, it would look for the development of the tourism industry, healthcare, infrastructure, the roads such that it could bring more business and could attract the tourists from all over the globe.
The minister said that the party is never in the favour of dictating ‘what to eat or how to eat’.
“The people of Meghalaya will decide what they want to eat, what they want to wear; the BJP will not dictate these things. I think we have overcome that apprehension”
On protecting the minorities
The minister firmed his voice by saying that the party is working hard to protect the minorities. He said, “Before Modi came to power in 2014, there was a huge propaganda claiming that if he won, churches would be burnt, Christians would be beaten up. Has any church anywhere been burnt in the past three-and-a-half years? Not one. Have Christians been beaten up? The answer is no. Judge the BJP government and the Prime Minister by their performance.”
On connection with RSS and the claim of making India a ‘Hindu-Rashtra’
The minister firmly denied that it would follow the ideologies of RSS. He said that RSS is not in the power, the BJP is. RSS is a social organisation, and there is a huge difference between RSS and BJP. The Christians of Meghalaya and Nagaland shouldn’t worry as the party is taking the leap to make them comfortable in their homes.
On the attacks on meat traders and the cattle traders
The minister said that there would always by some people with extreme hatred in a country of 1.25 billions. It is ethically wrong to blame government to blame for the attacks but that doesn’t mean the attacks are justified.
He also blamed the world media of concentrating more on the Indian issues of ‘intolerance’ than the attacks on some other parts of the world. He called it the biases of the global media that always finds something negative to write on while it completely ignores the ‘shout-outs’ of US or Europe.
On Aadhar-data breach
The minister strongly denied that the UIDAI has got any flaws in it. He said that the fundamental theory on which the UIDAI is based on the biometric recognition and he said that it has never been breached. The minister strongly recommended that the data of the people are safe, and there is not even a slight possibility of the data-breach.
On being asked about the domestic tourism
Mr. KJ Alphons emphasized that about sixty percent of toursim comes from the religious visits and that’s the reason why the government is planning to manifest that sector at utmost priority. He said,
“We have approved schemes worth Rs 5,648 crore for improving infrastructure and other facilities around religious places. However, there are fundamental problems like who will fund the toilets. The Swachh Bharat campaign has done an amazing job — people have become more and more conscious about cleanliness. But yes, much more needs to be done.”
Mr. Alphons took the example of Paris where there is ‘night mayor’ who takes care of the tasks during the godly hours. Now, he asked why couldn’t Qutub Minar be open in the night as well? He said that the tourists spend a magnificent amount in the activities during the night and hence, the government is planning to think above the ‘night clubs’ and malls and would manifest the tourism that could make a better night-wandering environment. Having said that, the government should have to look after the safety first!
On being asked about the clash between RSS and CPI(M) in Kerala
The minister’s home state is always in the news for the clashes between the RSS and CPI(M). Mr. Alphons didn’t call it the political killings, rather he called Kerala as one of the most peaceful states in the country. He said,
“Every time the Marxists come to power, the number of killings go up. Since the CPM came to power, 186 people have been killed. I am on good terms with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. I told him that we should work together to address this problem. It tarnishes the image of the state, which is otherwise peaceful and tourist-friendly. Even he agreed to work together. This has to stop.”
(The article is an extract from the interview taken by The Indian Express of the union minister KJ Alphons)