New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday said that a dedicated team of his party was analysing the Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha by-poll results “at the booth level” and that his party was set to get a “bigger mandate than the 2014 one” in the next Lok Sabha polls.
“We are not taking Uttar Pradesh results lightly. We are analysing it minutely. But at the same time, the mandate on two seats cannot be seen as countrywide mandate. Twelve lakh voters do not represent 125 crore people of India,” Shah said in an interview with Times Now channel.
He brushed aside a question on the conjecture in the public that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may do something drastic — such as the building of Ram temple in Ayodhya or another surgical strike across LoC — to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying the BJP did not need to do any such thing.
“If you remember in 2014, it was being said that Narendra Modi cannot be made the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, or if he is made he would not be able to lead the NDA..the NDA would fall apart etc. But now the same Narendra Modi has been running a successful government for the last four years.
“We do not live in the air, we are connected to the ground. The Narendra Modi government has done the work on the ground from the Ujjawal Yojana and the Kisan Fasal Bima Yojana to Mudra Yojana and providing electricity to every village. So we are confident we will get a bigger mandate than the 2014 one,” Shah said.
He also attacked the Congress for indulging in caste politics and creating divisions on the lines of caste by trying to recognise Lingayats as a separate minority community different from the Hindus.
“Considering caste equations before giving ticket to a candidate is one thing but stoking casteist passions is quite another. The Congress is doing the latter in Karnataka to reap political benefits just ahead of the assembly polls,” he said.
On some parties such as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) deserting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and others such as Shiv Sena openly airing their displeasure, Shah said that although the BJP never asks or forces any alliance partner to leave, there is little he could do if “someone is hell bent on leaving”.
“We do not behave like the Congress with our alliance partners. We treat our partners with respect. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has overwhelming majority but we still have given place of respect to our partners. Similarly in Tripura we have given respectable place to IPFT despite BJP having complete majority. Our friendship is not friendship of opportunity. We still have 30 parties in the NDA,” he said.
On “weathercock” partners such as Ram Vilas Paswan and Nitish Kumar, Shah said “even if they are weathercock, they are not going to leave the NDA because the wind is blowing in our favour”.
He said the BJP has the majority in the Lok Sabha and was ready to face the no-confidence motion.
Defending the government on the Nirav Modi case, Shah said that Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi left the country before the fraud came to light and the bank could lodge an FIR.
“The opposition cannot level a single allegation of corruption against any of our ministers,” he said.