Lucknow: “I have never contested an election on caste issues and never will. As an individual, I have always pursued the politics of humanity, the politics of ‘insaniyat in my entire political career,” said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh as he prepares to seek re-election from Lucknow – a constituency held five times by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Rajnath Singh inherited Vajpayee’s legacy when he won the election from Lucknow in 2014.
“I have worked for Lucknow. From the Outer Ring Road to easing traffic congestion and the expansion of Gomti Nagar railway station and modernization of the sewerage system – I have closely monitored the various projects in Lucknow,” he said in an interview to IANS.
Singh said that projects worth Rs 24,000 crore had been initiated in Lucknow. “I want to develop Lucknow and fulfill the dreams that Vajpayee saw for this constituency,” he stated.
Singh said that he enjoyed immense support from minorities in his constituency. He was the only BJP Chief Minister in UP to have held Iftar parties for Muslims during Ramzan.
“Leaders from all communities meet me regularly and I try to solve their problems to the best of my abilities. Their love for me and faith in me gives me great satisfaction,” he added, and said that it was unfortunate that a section of political leaders spent all their energy in painting an anti-minority image for the BJP.
The Home Minister said that tremendous development done by the Modi government in the past five years and the Yogi Adityanath government in the past two years would ensure a resounding victory for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh again.
But what about the growing resentment among 16-odd sitting MPs who have been denied ticket?
“This is not a big issue. The BJP is a family and if any member is unhappy, his feelings will be assuaged. This happens during ticket distribution and the media always plays it up.”
Talking about issues in the upcoming election, the Home Minister said that while it was understandable that Pakistan was perturbed after the Balakot air strikes, he could not understand why the opposition parties in the country were upset on the issue.
“The opposition talks of supporting the Modi government on issues of national security but then they go ahead and demoralize the armed forces by questioning the air strikes. This never happens in any other country and it is not a welcome trend.”
Singh said that the biggest achievement of the Modi government was that no one could level a single corruption charge against it. “And this is no small achievement,” he said.