After its stellar poll show in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will strive to rid the state of its ‘Bimaru’ tag as development is the way forward in Indian politics now, party president Amit Shah said today. The upcoming BJP government will erase the UP’s `Bimaru’ (laggard) label and end the caste bias in bureaucracy in the country’s largest state, he said here. A decision on the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh will be taken tomorrow, Shah said. After its success in the just-concluded assembly polls of five states, the saffron outfit is gearing up for elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka (likely to be held between 2017-end and 2018).
“We are preparing for polls in these states,” he said during an interactive session at the India Today conclave.
“Right now, there are the BJP state governments in 58 per cent of the country’s area. Along with our allies, we have governments in 65 per cent of the country’s area, besides the government at the Centre,” Shah said.
Asked if his party learnt lessons from debacle in the 2015 Bihar polls and made course correction in Uttar Pradesh, Shah said he believes in looking forward and not in the past.
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Asked if he expected the BJP to win over 300 seats in Uttar Pradesh, Shah stated, “I had said anything can happen after we cross 240-seat tally. That mark meant a wave in our favour but a wave is beyond any (electoral) calculation.”
Asked why the party did not field a single Muslim candidate in the state, Shah said the BJP doesn’t believe in caste, gender-based politics.
“BJP doesn’t believe in caste, gender-based politics. The party only believes in development of all. In this country, only politics of performance will work.”
People supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and this was reflected in the outcome of the recent elections, he said, adding last year’s surgical strikes on terror camps across-LoC have secured our borders.
On BSP president Mayawati’s claim of EVM tampering in UP, Shah trashed the charge and said the same machines were used when she was voted to power in the state.
“The days of politics based on caste, dynastic rule and appeasement are over. Now there will be only politics of performance,” Shah said at the conclave via video link.
The BJP leader supported the Prime Minister’s suggestion that all elections – from panchayat to the Lok Sabha level – be held simultaneously. “The country must get out of this cycle of frequent elections.”
“A lot of things are going on (development front) but the media does not take note of them, he said. “BJP ki safalta aapke gale nahi utarti (media can’t digest the party’s success),” he added.
In response to a question, the BJP chief said his party’s alliance with the Shiv Sena will continue in Maharashtra.
Asked when will the BJP implement its poll promise of farm loan waiver in UP, Shah said, “A decision will be taken at the first meeting of the Cabinet” after the new government takes charge in Lucknow.