New law and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says just as the Vajpayee government was known for building national highways, the Modi government will be known for the broadband highway. In this Idea Exchange moderated by Maneesh Chhibber of The Indian Express, he also makes it clear that in both the portfolios he holds, changes will be seen in tandem with the new government
Ravi Shankar Prasad: This is a verdict of hope. The kind of majority that we have got is a very proud moment for Indian democracy. The motto of our campaign was to deliver good governance, which India was sadly lacking, and people have trusted our motto. Our Prime Minister is the most hardworking leader. In the decade-plus years that he was chief minister, he did not take even a single day’s leave. During the entire campaign, he used to reach Ahmedabad late in the night, meet his core campaign team and governance team in the morning at 6.30 and again leave for the airport. And even after this hectic campaign, he did not take a single day’s break. Right from Day 1, we are all on the job. And we’re sure that under his leadership we will fulfill the mandate that the people have given us. The situation is really bad in the economy, infrastructure and investment. On Thursday, I addressed all the officers of the telecom department; there is demoralisation, lingering apprehension. We have to do a lot of things to change this, and we will do our best.
Maneesh Chhibber: A number of Bills are pending in the law ministry, many of these are constitutional amendments. How do you propose to take them up?
We will take them up on a priority basis. Issues pertaining to national judicial commission will surely be taken up. If some more improvement is needed, I’ll go for that; if some wider consultation is needed, I will be open to that.
Raj Kamal Jha: You said that you met your staff and there were lingering apprehensions. Can you elaborate on some of them?
I am talking about the telecom department. This ministry has been in the news for the wrong reasons. The first thing I did was to call all of them; it was a great experience for me. I’m now sure that the government of India has best officers possible, and they must be given time to work. I assured them that decisions