Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, who joined the BJP’s Janaraksha Yatra in Kerala Wednesday and walked 11 km through the volatile Kannur district, speaks to The Indian Express during the lunch break on political violence and why he thinks the Kerala government can learn from UP in terms of healthcare. Excerpts:
Kerala is different from other states for BJP to tackle politically in terms of the social, cultural and demographic factors. What will be party’s strategy here?
Kerala’s politics is now the politics of violence and murders, which is a matter of concern for us. To us, violence should not have any place in democracy. Democracy is a combination of discussions and consensus and it is also a debate. But the government here does not believe in debates or consensus. Those who oppose them have been killed. For their selfish motives, CPM has protected and encouraged Jihad and Jihadis, have pushed the mothers and sisters in Kerala into insecurity and have murdered BJP,RSS activists as well as workers of other parties. What we have to do is to awaken the common man against it. So we are taking out yatras.
But as you know, some controversial issues like the beef controversy, cow vigilantism etc in BJP-ruled states have triggered concerns among the minorities here and the other political parties are using them against the BJP.
There was no such incident in Uttar Pradesh.
But there have been in states like Haryana, Jharkhand
See, BJP rules in 13 states and 17 states are ruled by BJP with its allies. There have not been riots or political killings in any of these states. No political violence took place in any BJP-ruled state. There could be some incidents. But the BJP is committed to protect every citizen in the party-ruled states. But in Kerala, for their selfish political motives, they (CPM) are playing with the nation’s security. This is not acceptable to us.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has invited you to see how hospitals are run in his state?
I would say that Kerala government should come to Uttar Pradesh to see how the system works there. I have been in UP for six months. They must see what kind of changes I have brought in. They should see how every citizen lives safely and celebrates all festivals. In a small state like Kerala, 300 people have died of dengue. Many died due to Chikungunya. Death rates in these diseases are very low. This means people died because of the failure of the healthcare system.
Recently, omission of Taj Mahal from the UP tourism booklet created a controversy.
It is not an issue at all. Taj Mahal is a prominent tourist centre. We have initiated a number of schemes for its development.
Jihad is also an issue the BJP has taken up for the yatra. What do you have to say about love jihad?
The high court had earlier given instructions to the state government on it. Now Supreme Court has asked the NIA to investigate it. Let the NIA probe it and truth shall come out.