New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah said on Wednesday that the party has not decided if it will project a chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh and noted that the ruling Samajwadi Party was his party’s main rival in the assembly polls there next year.
Shah said he was confident of the BJP coming to power in Uttar Pradesh, adding that “maladministration” of the Samajwadi Party government will be the main issue in the assembly elections.
“The SP will be the main challenge in Uttar Pradesh as it has strong base and its cadre is also comparatively strong,” Shah told journalists here at a function held here to mark two years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
Asked if the party has decided to replicate in Uttar Pradesh its action in Assam to project a chief ministerial candidate, Shah said: “We have not decided what to do.”
Asked if the option was open, he replied in the affirmative.
Following its debacle in the Bihar assembly polls last year, the BJP projected a chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal in Assam and won the polls along with its allies.
Uttar Pradesh is expected to go for assembly polls early next year and there has been speculation on whether the BJP will project a chief ministerial candidate.
Asked about the Ram temple issue, Shah said that it figures in the party’s manifesto.
On Punjab, which will also go for assembly polls early next year, Shah said the party will stick to its alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Without naming the Aam Aadmi Party, seen as a contender for power in the state, he said “there is hype visible.”
“The spread at the grass-roots level also matters. Punjab is not Delhi. It matters if the party has a base,” he said.
Answering a question on Bihar, Shah said the BJP had “done a lot of analysis” over its defeat in the state elections in 2015.
Asked if there will be change of leadership in Gujarat, he said the issue had not been discussed.
“Whenever elections are held in the state, the BJP will win with thumping majority,” he said.