PM a ‘yugpurush’, only he can take India to greater heights: Saket Mishra | India News

A seasoned professional with experience across sectors, including international stints, MLC Saket Mishra has jumped into the electoral fray as BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Shravasti. Son of the former bureaucrat and chairman of Ram Temple Construction Committee Nripendra Mishra, Saket firmly believes that a dedicated politician can catalyze significant change in his/her constituency.In conversation with Pathikrit Chakraborty, he spoke on the issues facing Shravasti and his vision for development. Excerpts:
From becoming an IPS officer to leading international banking operations at the Royal Bank of Scotland, what inspired your transition to politics?
Politics is all about social service. I have served across sectors, and now I want to contribute to the development of the poor and backward areas of India. Upon my return, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji entrusted me with the task of overseeing the development of backward areas in east UP, which naturally led me towards politics. The party recognized my work and considered me for this role. Unlike in bureaucracy, there is no concern for promotion in politics. A good politician can make a significant difference in his area, unhindered by institutional constraints. At this stage of life, I am not seeking promotions. I am focused on serving the people. My party has been very supportive during this transition. Comfort is not a concern to me. When I was in Singapore, I walked through the deepest areas of eastern UP wearing backpacks during work. The culture within the party, fostered by PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi, emphasizes bringing individuals like me into politics, individuals who have the mindset of serving the people.
What approach do you use to appeal to voters? In 2018, Niti Aayog identified Shravasti as one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the country. How do you plan to address this issue?
I have already devised a strategy focusing on two fundamental issues – health and education. I aim to streamline health facilities to make them more accessible to the people, who often face challenges in accessing healthcare services. I am also working on implementing an education policy that ensures that children receive quality education and can compete globally. I plan to attract industries to generate employment opportunities. I aim to establish standard service levels to ensure that the poor receive essential facilities promptly, such as income proof and property rights. Many people are unaware of their rights, and we need to change that. Government services must be provided efficiently, and officials should be held accountable if they fail to deliver.
You are facing a former MP from the Samajwadi Party. How do you assess your chances in the elections?
Works done by the double-engine govt will speak for itself. I believe in the power of comparison. People will evaluate the work done over the past 7-8 years by me through the CSR fund and the work done by their elected representatives. No candidate can be compared to PM Modi, who empathizes with the poor and understands their needs. He is a ‘yugpurush’. For me, the real issue is whether my efforts are truly improving the lives of the people and if I can connect with them on a personal level.
Does your college friend Asim Arun, now a minister, provide you with insights and feedback now that you have entered politics?
Yes. Asim and his wife have been a constant source of support. They offer valuable feedback and insights. Not just him, even Shashi Tharoor and Amar Patnaik provide inputs. Our college has a history of producing idealistic individuals, which has been beneficial.
What is your perspective on the possibility of BJP achieving the target of 400 seats?
I believe we will get widespread support, although I cannot predict the exact numbers. The PM has captured the hearts of the people like no other leader post-independence. The opposition is envious of Modi, it only thinks about its interests. The PM focuses on the nation’s development. People understand that only he can lead the country to greater heights.
With a notable legacy from your father, do you believe it has been advantageous to your political journey?
My father’s legacy certainly helped amplify my voice. However, it also comes with the responsibility to uphold a fair and efficient govt. The path to doing the right thing is often challenging, but if I can achieve even half of what my father accomplished, it would be a significant achievement. My experiences abroad have taught me to rise above the shadow of my father and work towards the betterment of society.
What are your views on AI and Machine learning?
If elected, I would urge the PM to establish a committee to implement AI and machine learning in the country’s school curriculum. It’s essential to ensure that our children are not left behind in the global arena.
Other than PM Modi, whom do you admire as a politician? What are your interests other than politics?
I don’t idolize any politician, but I admire BR Ambedkar, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Piloo Modi, Babu Jagjivan Ram, and Kanshi Ram. I follow them to know the tradition of the parliament. I enjoy reading works by Salman Rushdie and Ernest Hemingway. I like reading historical books. I read ‘India Wins Independence’ by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. I also love music and am fond of Kishore Kumar’s songs.

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