Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav may expect projects like Lucknow-Agra Expressway to be a vote-catcher for his Samajwadi Party but BJP believes people will rather vote on issues like corruption and law and order and vote him out in the coming assembly polls.
Uttar Pradesh BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya also mocked the recently launched ‘Dial 100’, meant to offer prompt response to any distress call to the police helpline, saying it only highlights the worsening crime graph and that the Rs 2,000 crore spent on it could have been used for boosting police infrastructure.
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“The Lucknow-Agra Expressway will not be any magic bullet for the Chief Minister. People have suffered for five years in his government due to rampant corruption and poor law and order and will vote on these issues,” he told reporters in an interview.
The Modi government, he claimed, has lived up to its developmental promises and people will vote BJP to power in the state as they believe that the party means business and will deliver what it promises.
Taking on SP and BSP, two formidable regional rivals, over their attack on the Union government over demonetisation, he said both parties have been hit hard, alleging that BSP supremo Mayawati used black money to “purchase votes from the poor” while SP spent unaccounted money to capture booths.
He attributed the current peace existing between rival camps in SP to demonetisation.
“The feud was about sharing of black money it had made. After the Centre’s tough action, their fight seems to have ended. No black money, no dispute,” he said, laughing.
“Demonetisation scheme will prove to be a blessing for the country. If the Prime Minister’s mother, who is aged above 90 years, can stand in a queue outside a bank, why can’t others?… The move has people’s support,” he said.
Opposition parties have joined hands to keep BJP out of power in UP as they fear that if it forms government, then it will come to power at the Centre as well in 2019, when next Lok Sabha polls are due.
He insisted that SP remains the main rival to the BJP. “We consider SP as our main rival. Still, our party will get a landslide victory in UP and form the next government. We expect 300 plus seats,” he said.
UP has 403-member Assembly. “We will rid the state of SP-BSP. For UP, they are like Rahu and Ketu (considered malevolent planets in astrology). Their misrule has ruined the state. Development took a backseat during their governments in the last 15 years,” he said.
Asked about kep poll planks for the BJP, Maurya said, “Good governance, development and making UP the numero uno state in the country.”
On the contentious issue of “triple talaq” which has prompted Muslim bodies to accuse the BJP of tinkering with Islamic personal laws, Maurya said his party considers “triple talaq” an injustice to Muslim women.
“We appeal to Muslim women and others opposing triple talaq to support BJP. We are getting support from many of them,” he said.
The 47-year-old Lok Sabha member, who comes from a politically crucial backward community, also rejected allegations decisions like surgical strikes across the border and demonetisation were made keeping in mind the coming elections.
Noting that many assembly elections have been held since the BJP formed government at the Centre in 2014, he said rival parties lack substantive issues to attack it.
“They have no real issue are opposing us for just for the sake of opposition,” Maurya said.
He claimed that the party’s ‘Parivartan Yatras’ across the state have drawn huge support.
“We are getting support from all communities. Where we were expecting 2,000 people, we are witnessing a turnout of 20,000. It reflects the faith people have reposed on us,” he
Rubbishing the opposition’s claims that Modi’s rally in Lucknow scheduled for December 24 was cancelled as the party fearing poor turn-out, he said, “Nothing has been cancelled. It has been re-scheduled and the fresh dates will be announced soon after our Parivartan Yatras end on December 24.”