While exuding confidence that BJP and its existing NDA partners would win more than 300 seats to form a government, Narendra Modi’s close aide and BJP’s UP in-charge Amit Shah said that the party is still open to support from any party “if they want to ally for the country’s development”.
Reacting to BSP leader Mayawati’s comments that there was no possibility of her party supporting BJP, Shah told reporters here that “BJP does not believe in political untouchability”.
Mayawati’s comments came a day after BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi indicated in an interview that he expected more parties to join the NDA after elections.
“All parties are welcome to join NDA if they want to give their support for development of this country,” Shah said.
He also reiterated BJP’s demand for transfer of Varanasi District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav and asked Election Commission to deploy central paramilitary forces in all 18 constituencies in UP that would go to polls on Monday along with Varanasi as all of them were “sensitive”.
“While we welcome deployment of forces for elections here, why Azamgarh is being left out from where Mulayam Singh Yadav is fighting and his son Akhilesh Yadav is chief minister of this state,” Shah said.
Shah said that there appeared to be some differences within Election Commission on this matter.
“I agree that the Election Commission should not fear anyone, but they must ensure free and fair polls.
“The Chief Election Commission V S Sampath should not be afraid of us as all we want is free and fair polls,” Shah said when asked about Sampath’s remarks to this effect.
He also said that there were no more election programmes of Modi planned for Varanasi now.
The BJP leader also took a jibe at the election authorities and the District Magistrate for refusing permission to Modi’s rally, while allowing others.
About Kejriwal’s roadshow today and two other roadshows planned for tomorrow — by Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, Shah said, “It is good that DM has allowed them to hold roadshows”.
He claimed that BJP was moving towards a historic win in UP although all “three opponents — Congress, SP and BSP, appeared to be fighting together”.
“It’s Modi versus all election, but people in UP have come out to support BJP irrespective of their castes, religion, age group and society, as they are suffering from a double incumbency — one against the UPA government at Centre and the other against the state government,” Shah said.
He demanded deployment of paramilitary forces, micro observers and video recording at all booths in all 18 constituencies in UP, which will go to polls on Monday, and said that these arrangements should continue till May 16 — the counting day.
On the Centre’s submission before the Supreme Court today in snoopgate matter, Shah said, “We have already set up a probe panel.
“It was the Centre which earlier said they want to set up their own panel, which now they have refused to.”
Shah said that BJP’s campaign has slowly grown to become a “movement” whose main objective is to herald a change in this country.
Giving details of Modi’s public programmes so far, Shah said he has so far addressed 437 rallies and taken together with 3D events, roadshows and other programmes, Modi has participated in as many as 5,827 public programmes for these elections.
“Modi has travelled three lakh kilometres and visited 25 states to connect with the people,” Shah said, while adding that this was probably the biggest ever public reach programme undertaken by any leader ever since the first elections of India.
Asserting that these were no more BJP rallies and had become “public” rallies, Shah said that the impact was also very much visible and the party was now confident that it would get more than 300 seats along with its NDA allies to form the next government.
“In UP particularly, BJP is moving towards a historic win, although all three opponents — Congress, SP and BSP, appeared to be fighting together.
“SP did not fight elections from Amethi and Rae Bareli, Akhikesh Yadav has supported Robert Vadra, while Mayawati came out in support of Priyanka Gandhi,” Shah said.
The BJP leader also said that the national issues like security, corruption and price rise were also very much relevant in UP.
On Commerce Minister Anand Sharma distancing himself from a report lauding Gujarat, Shah said this shows that “either the minister does not consider him a minister, or Sharma himself has no grip on his ministry”.
The BJP leader refused to comment on queries about the possibility of his fighting from Vadodara Lok Sabha seat if it is vacated by Modi or being the next chief minister of Gujarat.
Shah said that he does not want party matters to be decided through press conferences.
Besides Varanasi, Modi is also fighting Lok Sabha polls from Vadodara in Gujarat.
On top Congress leaders focusing on minority dominated areas in Varanasi, Shah said that BJP does not believe in dividing voters on the basis of majority or minority communities as all voters were equal before it.
About the controversy surrounding Modi’s caste, Shah said that the BJP has already cleared its position and the charges levelled by Congress were baseless and untrue.
When asked who the BJP considered more prominent rival between Kejriwal and Congress’ Ajay Rai, Shah said that BJP does not give any prominence to either of them.