What is your assessment about the elections?
It has been very clear from the very first phase that we are winning a majority. We will win more than 300 seats.
The party did not show such confidence before the elections. What changed to raise your optimism?
Our workers worked very hard. Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s pro-poor policies created trust among voters. Under Amit Shahji’s leadership, the party reached every section of society: OBCs, Dalits, upper castes, every other section. SP and BSP leaders’ approach of appeasing Muslims helped not them but us; people thought they care only for minorities.
Your party has looked as if it has depended only on caste calculations. Weren’t issues of development missing from the campaign?
We discussed issues of development and good governance at every forum. It is true that we focused on reaching out to several groups, but that doesn’t mean only caste calculations are helping. People of the state are fed up with the misrule of SP and BSP and we are gaining from that.
BJP posters show you, Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti. Who will be chief minister if the party wins?
The four of us being on posters doesn’t mean we are claimants to the chief minister’s post. The party decided to contest without declaring a chief ministerial face. The new chief minister may be from among these, or it may be from among leaders not on the posters. The posters have nothing to do with that; it will be decided later after the results.
Are you one of the claimants?
I am not a claimant to any post. I fulfilled the responsibility given to me. I have travelled across the state and addressed over 250 rallies. After becoming state BJP president, I have travelled to every district and touched a majority of assembly seats.
But when a party doesn’t project anyone for the chair, its state president is considered the obvious claimant…
This is the job of senior party leaders. We have a central parliamentary board that decides these things after the elections. Our priority is to give good governance to the people, whoever becomes chief minister.
SP and BSP leaders say that the BJP is dominated by upper castes and once it gets a majority, someone from the upper castes will be chief minister.
That will be decided by the party leadership… The BJP does not do politics based on caste and creed.
But with the BJP having focused on OBCs, will the new chief minister be from those communities if it wins?
Whoever is CM, the BJP will take along all communities and groups without discrimination. The party decides these things based on the sentiments of its workers.
If the party does get a majority, should the CM be from among state leaders, or from among those currently in the central government?
The BJP has many leaders of Uttar Pradesh. The party will decide…
What will your role be after the elections?
The leadership will decide. They gave us the responsibility of getting a majority. Every party worker worked hard for that. The party leadership will decide what I should do next. The state presidentship too is a big job.