Goyal: Congress Govt left behind 7 cr families without power

Neelu Vyas

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath  is purely implementing what was promised by the BJP in its Sankalp Patra, says Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State for Coal, Power, New and Renewable Energy.

Defending the saffron clad chief minister’s anti-Romeo drive aggressively, Goyal said that it makes many Muslim women feel safe and it’ll improve the law an order situation in the state. He also dismissed reports that the squads discriminated on the basis of caste, creed and religion.

Goyal slammed the Congress for its myopic agenda and said religious outlook has nothing to do with the official responsibilities. He even admitted that cow protection measures and the shutting down of illegal abattoirs was also one of the important priorities of BJP.

Talking at length on the power sector in the country the minister again attacked the Congress for ruling the country for 60 years but at the same time ignoring the 18,000 villages on the electrification front. Goyal said India has lots to look forward to in the renewable energy sector. Goyal said though India’s mainstay will be coal based power but simultaneous stress on solar wind and gas will push the country forward.

Here are some edited excerpts of the interview:

Your government will soon complete three years in office, are you satisfied with the progress you have made? 

The work is in progress. We have covered many miles, but we have many more to go. Transformational changes have taken place for a better India, and we are working towards making India coal & power surplus country.

How do you look at the Uday Yojna? How is it a game changer? 

Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana is yielding good results. Efforts are being made to generate abundant electricity at low tariffs.

Recently you had a spat with your predecessor Jyotiraditya Scindia over rural electrification? What’s the real picture? 

The previous government left behind 7 crore families without power supply. 18,000 remotest villages were ignored. Our work is documented and data is available online.

 

Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State for Coal, Power, New and Renewable Energy speaks to Rajya Sabha TV's Neelu Vyas.

Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State for Coal, Power, New and Renewable Energy speaks to Rajya Sabha TV’s Neelu Vyas.

Uday scheme is for the financial turnaround but what about the operational efficiency? 

Finance is just a minor challenge. We have good relations with all states in spite of their respective political dispensation. Uday scheme has been signed by 27 states. Our government never lets politics overpower good governance & economics. Nation’s resources are there to first serve the poor. Central government is a policy making body and the state government has to implement those same policies. I make sure there is sufficient coal supply.

Your focus is still coal…How will you carry out the green and clean energy slogan? 

PM Modi believes in cleaner sources of energy. Efforts are being made to promote the by-products of coal. Coal based-power will remain our mainstay but solar power has evolved dramatically over the past 3 years.

Focus is too much on wind and solar power, why is hydro power still untapped? 

Many hydro power projects are stranded because of environmental concerns. We worked hard to make the hydro sector efficient. Already, 1200 MW of power is being generated. Ujjwala Yojana crossed 3 crores LPG connections last year. PM has a vision for progressive India and Amit Shah gave a game changing campaign to the BJP.

Coming to the politics of BJP, why was Yogi Adityananth anointed as the chief minister when he is seen as a firebrand Hindu cleric who has spoken out against Muslims? 

Yogi gave me meticulous details about reforming constituencies. He is an able administrator who I am sure will carry out his task with all meticulousness.

How do you say Yogi is a pro-development man when his top priority is shutting down illegal abattoirs and constituting anti-Romeo squads? 

Illegal slaughter houses have no place in UP. We are protective about cows. BJP had promised during campaign to put all Romeos behind bars.

Don’t you think minorities are facing social isolation? With Yogi Adityanath becoming the CM, they feel it’s an endorsement of the Hindutva agenda…

Many Muslim women confessed that they will be secure now. Anti- romeo squad is unbiased. We are hopeful about resolving triple talaq. Young Muslim girls want to be a part of inclusive society.

People feel that Yogi Adityanath will pursue RSS agenda…

My religious outlook has nothing to do with my official responsibilities. I am a proud member of RSS. It is parties like Congress who talk like this. Congress has a myopic agenda. We will abide by the Sankalp Patra and there will not be any discrimination as we believe in Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas.