Faced with a likely SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, BJP president Amit Shah today said his party is working to get 50 per cent vote share in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He also played down the BJP’s loss to the alliance in two bypolls of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, saying they cannot be compared with the general election when people will vote to decide if Narendra Modi will be their prime minister again or somebody else. Asked about the challenge for his party in the likelihood of an SP-BSP alliance in the politically most important state, he said wryly that the media had given the SP-Congress alliance in the UP assembly election last year 242 seats while the BJP ended up winning 325 of the total 403 seats.
“You people had put together the vote share of the SP and the Congress to give them 242 seats when the two boys had joined hands,” he said at a press conference held to mark the fourth anniversary of the Modi government. The SP-Congress alliance was projected by many as coming together of ‘do ladke’ (two boys), a reference to Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi. The alliance won only 54 seats.
“In UP, we will prepare ourselves to get 50 per cent votes in the elections. There is still one year left for the polls,” Shah said. On the bypoll results, he said, “There is a different parameter for voters when they vote to form a government, to decide whether Modi will be prime minister or somebody else. They cannot be compared.”
The BJP-led NDA had fetched more than 42 per cent votes in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and almost repeated its show in the 2017 assembly elections by winning close to that vote share. UP elects 80 members, more than any other state, for the Lok Sabha and the BJP had won 71 in 2014.