Amid speculation over a tie-up with Ajit Singh’s RLD, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya Sunday ruled out any alliance for the state assembly elections, asserting that the party will fight on its own and win two-thirds majority.
The comments of Maurya, who was in the national capital to strategise on the crucial elections with top party leaders, assume significance as there was a buzz that the party was open to an alliance with the Jat leader to consolidate anti-SP and anti-BSP votes.
He suggested that the parties willing to support BJP could contest the election on its lotus symbol.
“We don’t need any alliance. We are going to fight with full strength. We will come to power with a big majority without any alliance,” he said.
“Lotus had bloomed in 73 (out of 80) Lok Sabha seats and now I see BJP getting 265 plus seats in the assembly polls. This is not merely a statement but reality. Poeple are fed up with SP and BSP and see a strong alternative in BJP. Congress is nowhere in picture,” he told PTI. The UP assembly has 403 seats.
Singh was also being wooed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who wanted RLD to merge with JD(U) but the talks are believed to have been stalled.
Some reports had said Singh, who joined hands with almost all major parties, including BJP, in the past, was open to going to the polls as an ally of the saffron party.
Maurya, however, insisted that his party was not considering any such an alliance.
“If there are parties who want to be associated with BJP, they should not think of an alliance but they can fight on the BJP symbol,” he said without naming RLD or Singh.
Party president Amit Shah had appointed Maurya, a first time Lok Sabha member from an OBC community, as the state chief last month, hoping to revive a social alliance of upper castes and a chunk of backward class voters that kept the party ahead of its rivals for much of the 1990s.
Riding on the ‘Modi wave’, it had swept the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 but ruling SP and Mayawati’s BSP are said to have regained the lost ground, making its job of returning to power in Lucknow after almost 15 years harder.
Maurya, who has had a stint in Vishwa Hindu Parishad and is seen as a champion of Hindutva agenda, said BJP will fight the polls on the plank of development and ‘Ram temple’ will not be a poll issue.
The “misgovernance” under Samajwadi Party dispensation coupled with “rampant corruption and poor law and order”, he said, will be major issues.
The voters in UP shifted between SP and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party but were let down by both and will now plump for BJP, the 47-year-old Kushwaha leader said.
Maurya said ‘Ram temple’ was an “emotive issue” for the party but will not be on its poll agenda as the matter was in the Supreme Court.
“I do expect that the apex court takes a decision at the earliest and the temple is built,” he said.
When asked whether BJP will project a chief ministerial candidate, he said any decision in this regard will be taken by the party’s central leadership.
The party leaders are crisscrossing the state to build its campaign and its cadres observed Panchayati Raj Day on April 24 in over 35,600 villages where they interacted with the locals. The remaining about 54,000 villages will be covered by party workers by May 26, when the Modi government celebrates its two years in office.
The Modi government’s “development agenda” has touched a chord with the people in UP and they will vote for BJP in the 2017 assembly polls, Maurya claimed.