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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

‘Will work to broaden BJP base in state’

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20

A day after his elevation as state BJP chief, Om Prakash Dhankar today said he planned to broaden the party's base in Haryana in coordination with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and ensure that the party reached out to those in distress due to the pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune at his Panchkula residence, the newly appointed state BJP chief said he had worked with Khattar for long and their relations had always been very good.

"Even my entry to the BJP was because of Khattar when he was a 'pracharak'. I still vividly remember how Khattar convinced me to join the party at a juice shop in Bhiwani, where I was a lecturer. Later, when Khattar was party incharge for north zone, I served the party as co-incharge for Himachal Pradesh," he said.

About his priorities and challenges, the state BJP president said the biggest challenge concerned ways to help the people amid the pandemic.

"Public health specialists from AIIMS had predicted that the country could witness 2.5 crore cases by August 15. Due to timely steps initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and precautions taken by the people, we are in a much better position. The government has done a lot to reach out to those in need during and after lockdown and now, as state party president, I will ensure that the party reaches out to those in need," Dhankar said.

The BJP leader said it was a positive sign that people had come out of the initial panic associated with Covid. He said earlier, some people did not even want to cremate their dear ones out of fear, but now, the infected were being isolated at home under the care of family members.

Maintaining that the party had been in pause mode in Haryana for the past couple of months, Dhankar said he would soon appoint office-bearers at the district level to rejuvenate the party.

Terming "Give your best and derive the best from others" as his motto in over three decades of experience in organisation, during which he had served the party as national president of the BJP's Kisan Morcha, Dhankar said his endeavour would be to bring all sections of society to the party fold.

He saw the impending byelection to Baroda, caused by death of Congress MLA Krishan Murti Hooda, as the first challenge as state party president and exuded confidence that the party would win.

"The Congress is no longer the party it used to be. This is not my assessment, but its own leaders have been telling this to the people. The other political parties in Haryana are family based and are no match for the BJP," Dhankar said.

Refusing to be drawn into the Jat versus non-Jat discussion, considered a reality in state politics, Dhankar said the BJP had never believed in such a division.

"I want to see the BJP cadre in Haryana as strong as in established states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and all my endeavours will be in that direction," he concluded.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2DXeMoQ

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