INTERVIEW| PM boosted Kota’s morale by making karyakarta like me LS Speaker: Birla

In the interview with The New Indian, Executive Editor Rohan Dua, Om Birla speaks on the development of Kota and the public’s trust in his party and PM Modi and his own tenure as Lok Sabha speaker.

| Updated: 25 April, 2024 8:24 pm IST
The New Indian Executive Editor Rohan dua in conversation with Om Birla

As the general elections draw closer to the second phase on April 26, speculations in Rajasthan’s historic city Kota regarding the electoral battle are widening.

The New Indian team reaches Kota to speak to Lok Sabha Speaker and MP of the constituency, Om Birla. Contesting for the third term from the Kota seat in the Hadoti region, Birla has been seen campaigning extensively in villages and panchayats with supporters, including the Maharani of Kota, Kalpana Devi, and her husband, Ijyaraj Singh.

This time, Om Birla faces a significant electoral challenge from a formidable opponent in the form of BJP rebel Prahalad Gunjal, now a Congress candidate.

Gunjal’s past affiliations with the BJP and his connection with Vasundhara Raje add complexity to the electoral landscape, intensifying the battle for Kota’s representation.

The Kota Lok Sabha constituency, situated in the Hadoti region, comprises Kota and Bundi districts of Rajasthan, with Bundi boasting a strong RSS presence.

In the previous election in 2019, Birla won by a margin of approximately 2.5 lakh votes against Ram Narayan Meena of the Congress party, and in 2014, he secured victory by approximately 2 lakh votes.

In the interview with The New Indian, Executive Editor Rohan Dua, Om Birla speaks on the development of Kota and the public’s trust in his party and PM Modi and his own tenure as Lok Sabha speaker.




Rohan Dua: Previously, you won with a comfortable majority. What are your thoughts on this election?

Om Birla: The country, states, Rajasthan, and Kota all want Modi to win. The public trusts Modi: he has earned their trust over the past 10 years by enhancing the country’s ability. These elections are national elections.

Rohan Dua: This morning, I had the opportunity to meet your youngest sister, Disha, and elder brother, Hari Krishna. They reminisce childhood memories, recalling how you all used to live in a small house. Now, Kota has earned its big city status because of you. Even the PM has shown trust in you by making you the Lok Sabha speaker. How proud do you feel about rising from a small town to the position of Lok Sabha speaker?

Om Birla: The trust and opportunity given to me by the party and the PM showcase that the BJP is a cadre-based party that prioritises its workers, regardless of their position.

Rohan Dua: Regarding the competition, your landslide victory was expected here. However, Prahlad Gunjal leaving the BJp to join Congress has raised questions. Do you think this has dampened the joy of victory?

Om Birla: Nobody trusts defectors. Today they are in one party, tomorrow they will switch to another. People don’t even know which party they are fighting for. They are fighting the elections based on caste while it should not be fought based on caste and religion.



Rohan Dua: Speaking of Kota’s development, people credit you for your hard work, even during COVID when you were upfront in malls and on roads. People trust you. Even after COVID, while Shanti Dhariwal was fighting for elections you both were compared. Who did the development of you or him from Congress? What are your thoughts?

Om Birla: We win with the trust of the public. COVID was a global crisis, and it was our duty to serve the public to the best of our abilities. The public had trust in us, which we reflected in our work.

Rohan Dua: The people of Kota are speculating that after becoming Lok Sabha speaker, you may become a Union Minister and continue working for Kota. What is your response?

Om Birla: I will become a member.

Rohan Dua: Which position would satisfy you the most?

Om Birla: Party Member position.

Rohan Dua: In the past, you maintained the dignity of your position even while suspending opposition leaders. Do you believe your conduct during Lok Sabha proceedings will benefit you now?

Om Birla: I tried to uphold the dignity and prestige of democracy and not lose it.

Rohan Dua: The opposition has alleged bias on your part. What is your response?

Om Birla: There is no basis to such allegations. I have never been accused of bias.

Rohan Dua: Today, Rajasthan has seen a change, with the queen of Kota, Kalpana Devi, and her husband, Ijyaraj Singh, present. Even small communities are connected with you. How do you feel about this?

Om Birla: The Maharani is a dedicated social worker, her work also represents that.

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