‘Shanta Denied me Ticket in 2012 Assembly Elections’
Former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Tulsi Ram was denied BJP ticket to contest assembly election in 2012 without assigning any reason. The three times MLA has not been able to digest the humiliation that he face and Tulsi Ram feels that he became victim of Shanta-Dhumal fight.
Himachal This Week’s Jaideep Rehan talked to Tulsi Ram to track his political journey and future plans in political arena. Following are the excerpts of the interview:
HTW: What has been your experience in long political career?
Tulsi Ram: I started my political career as independent candidate in 1982. Later I joined the BJP and won three elections while losing on four occasions. I have always worked as a missionary and not as a politician. I entertained all people by rising above party politics to associate more people with the BJP. One thing is sure that no one is trustworthy in politics irrespective of the high position one is holding. One can sacrifice anybody for one’s own petty interest.
HTW: What were the reasons that you stayed away from electoral politics during last assembly election?
Tulsi Ram: I was ready to contest election and then CM had announced my candidacy but I was denied ticket all of a sudden. No one ever pointed about my shortcomings to form the basis for denial of ticket. Even I don’t know why I was denied party ticket.
HTW: Whom do you hold responsible for denial of ticket to you?
Tulsi Ram: I suffered in Dhumal-Shanta fight. Shanta Kumar thought that I was close to Dhumal because I worked for five years with the latter. Shanta Kumar and his team denied me ticket to sideline me even as I was physically fit and there was no charge against me.
HTW: You again politically in politics two years before next elections..?
Tulsi Ram: I gave my prime days for the party. It won’t be good if I leave the party now. I am only active in politics because people’s feelings are also associated.
HTW: You are showing confrontationist postures. Why you have decided to contest next assembly election as independent candidate?
Tulsi Ram: Jiya Lal accused me of indulging in undercutting in an interview. I felt that I was defamed for working honestly and I must reply to these false allegations. I will not contest on party ticket but contest as independent if the BJP allots ticket to Jiya Lal. I will support if the party fields some other candidate.
HTW: Why are you opposing Jiya Lal so vociferously?
Tulsi Ram: People visiting my house are being terrorized. I hate the party for due to prevailing circumstances in it. I had neither taken party’s membership online nor had anybody visited my house. I had started as an independent and will finish my political career as independent candidate.
HTW: The BJP is claiming that Himachal will witness mid-term assembly elections. What is the basis of this assertion?
Tulsi Ram: This is day dreaming. How can one dethrone an elected government? There is no such possibility.
HTW: The Congress is accusing the BJP of destabilizing the government. What would you say on this issue?
Tulsi Ram: Political parties often hurl such accusations.
HTW: Who else in your family is interested in contesting election?
Tusli Ram: My wife is interested in politics and she has already registered her presence in panchayati raj and will contest upcoming panchayat elections. It is up to her whether to contest assembly election or not.
HTW: Who, according to you, is the best chief minister of Himachal so far?
Tusli Ram: Dr. Y.S. Parmar’s contribution can’t be forgotten in Himachal’s development. The state is still benefiting from his vision.
HTW: It is said that you are controlling Bharmour’s politics from Palampur…?
Tusli Ram: A person on political field can do politics from anywhere. I also belong to Gaddi community who are also dominant in Palampur area. I also watch their interests.
HTW: Which youth leader is capable of providing leadership in future?
Tulsi Ram: There is no such leader on the scene presently. Youth leaders emerge all of a sudden. See the example of Gujarat where Narendra Modi was in power for 15 years. Suddenly, Hardik Patel appears on the political scene and associates lakhs of people with him.
HTW: Do you still have any political ambition?
Tulsi Ram: There is no ambition and I entered politics to work for development of the area through this medium. I am a practical man associated with agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry sectors. I keep a watch on issues related with common people.
HTW: Have both the parties failed to develop Bharmour as people elected their representatives turn by turn?
Tulsi ram: Earlier people sided with the power because elections were held after formation of the government. There is no major reason behind it but the BJP has developed Bharmour whereas Congress has totally failed. It is only completing the schemes initiated during the BJP tenure.
One thing is sure that no one is trustworthy in politics irrespective of the high position one is holding. One can sacrifice anybody for one’s own petty interest
-Tulsi Ram Former VS Speaker