“Na Goonda-Raj, Na Bhrashtachaar; Abaki Baar Bhajapa Sarkaar,” says UP BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya, brimming with confidence, while claiming that the state is all set for a big change, and the masses in UP have decided to teach SP and BSP a lesson because they have only looted the state in their respective regimes. “People of Uttar Pradesh are fed up of communalism, corruption, goondaism, riots and criminalisation”, he said while talking to Organiser Correspondent Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey in Lucknow. Excerpts:
What is the main agenda of BJP in these assembly polls?
Criminalisation is the main agenda. In Uttar Pradesh, criminals don’t fear police; it is the police which fear criminals, as witnessed in so many instances including Jawahar Bagh episode. The state government led by Samajwadi Party (SP) encouraged, supported and patronised criminals. Akhiesh Yadav and other SP leaders believe that their criminals’ gang will help them in booth capturing and thereby make them succeed in the polls. Therefore they promote the criminals.
What are the other issues being focused during electioneering?
The other issues are communalisation and corruption. The SP has always fanned communalism and pandered the Muslim community with an eye on their votes, launching a new scheme everyday for their appeasement. We won’t allow this anymore. Enough is enough. Corruption has been rampant in both SP and former BSP regime. We haven’t forgotten yet the embezzlement of billions by BSP leaders and their Supremo in the name of building dalit monuments all over Lucknow and Noida. Corruption has been rampant during the Akhilesh government as well. No work was done without greasing the palm of SP Ministers. No action was ever taken by the Chief Minister on the reports submitted by Lokayukta against the Ministers’ corruption. What does all this suggest? People want to change all this and they have an opportunity in the forthcoming assembly polls.
Why do riots take place under SP rule?
During the regime of SP more than 1000 riots have taken place in which hundreds of people were killed. The policy of Muslim appeasement and Hindu denigration leads to riots. Like in Muzaffarnagar, a government minister asked police officer to set off all the accused, which led to massive protest of Hindus and consequently to fierce riots.
What benefit do you think the criminals get in SP regime?
Most of them are either in direct politics or in the business of land-grabbing. In politics, they get party tickets to contest elections and in their land-gabbing business they earn tremendous profits, making their political patrons co-sharers. All this must stop; and only BJP can stop it.
How will this change take place?
The people in UP are fed up of all this. They are over-enthusiastic in anticipation of the poll results in favour of BJP. The ‘Parivartan Maharally’, or as some people called it a ‘Maha Ralla’, was an indication of the people’s mood. More than 10 lakh people gathered in the sprawling Rama Bai Maidan of Lucknow. A strong wave is visible in favour of BJP in UP.
What are the poll strategies?
We are targeting more than 300 seats in UP. We are holding booth convenors’ sammelan all over UP. More than four lakh women partook in ‘Uddan’ Programme organised by Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani. We are holding Intellectuals’ Meet, SC/ST Conventions, Business Community congregations, Farmers Sammelans, etc in order to associate all the classes and categories of people. We have given tickets to best possible candidates. Farmers are taking vows for change – the ‘Mati Tilak Pratigya’.
People also question the CM face. What have you to say about this?
We feel all our workers are CM face. Ours is a cadre-based party. Therefore that is no issue for us. Moreover we are lucky to have Narendra Modi Ji as our leader who has emerged as the most popular and powerful leader of the world.
What about seat sharing with the alliance partners?
We have only two alliance partners – Apna Dal and Bharat Samaj Party. And the talks are going on smoothly and cordially on seat-sharing. No hurdle at all.
How do you perceive the infights in SP or the ‘SP Dangal’ as people call it now?
We are focusing on ‘Mangal’ of UP for which we need to ensure a blooming ‘Kamal’. Why to think of the ‘Dangal’ of those who made us ‘Kangaal’ and looted the state.
There has been a heavy rush of leaders of different parties towards the BJP. Which though is a good sign, but won’t it create problems in ticket distribution?
I don’t think it will create problems. This influx of politicians of different hues is just an indication of BJP’s rapidly growing popularity. We haven’t promised tickets to them. We can’t accommodate all, and everyone knows it. The dream of everyone who is in BJP is to see the blooming ‘KAMAL’, and the success of BJP in the state.
How many seats do you expect the BJP will win?
Three hundred plus. And this claim is based on reality. We won 73 MPs in Lok Sabha polls. We were in first position in 337 assembly segments.
What is the basis of this claim?
There is an unexpected enthusiasm. One lakh forty thousand booths have been organised. We have promised a riot-free, crime-free and corruption-free state. SP is a private limited party. It is family based and its infighting will never stop because all the family members want their share in the party earnings. They are all neck-deep in corruption. CM is stained. He can’t revive his image by releasing advertisements. Once we come to power we are going to order probe into all the irregularities. The escape of Hindus from Kairana and other places is not a lesser issue.
Some say that the core issues of Ram Mandir, Article 370, and Uniform Civil Code are being neglected?
No they are not being neglected. We are developing our strength day-by-day. We need to remove barriers. Once we succeed in establishing BJP rule in UP, we will be in sizable majority in Rajya Sabha. Let us be optimistic. After 2017, the year 2019 will be landmark. All our dreams will come true.