Direct contest between BJP & SP in UP: Keshav Maurya

Neelu Vyas
File photo of BJP leader in UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya.

File photo of BJP leader in UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief and Lok Sabha MP from Phulpur, Keshav Prasad Maurya has said that the BJP will get more than 300 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

In an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Maurya slammed the regional parties, especially the Samajwadi Party and the Bhahujan Samaj Party. He dismissed SP’s resurgence due to lawlessness and mining scam and blamed the BSP for desertions within its own ranks.

Maurya reiterated that the 2017 assembly polls will be a direct contest between the BJP and the SP, and that people will vote on the basis of the good work done by the centre.

Pointing fingers at the Congress, Maurya said that both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi owe their seats to Samajwadi Party as there is a tacit understanding between them.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

Out of 403 seats what’s your realistic projection for BJP in the forthcoming UP polls?

Our target will be 300 seats and I am pretty sure of achieving that target. Development and growth will be the single point agenda in the polls for the BJP.

How do I believe that BJP will not bank on the caste factor?

BJP does not do politics on the basis of caste. UP lags behind in development – investors are shying away from coming to the state. We will do wonders after coming to power in UP.

What about the state’s trifurcation, especially when it comes to the Bundelkhand area. Are you ready for trifurcation?

The time has not come to make this decision but we are committed to the upliftment and development of areas like Bundelkhand. We will get about 337 seats according to my calculation and UP will play a key role in future politics.

BJP has been seen as an anti-farmer and an anti-dalit party. How will you get the votes?

Congress failed to waive off farmers’ debts. Rahul Gandhi is only talking in Khat Sabhas and Kisan Maha Yatras but it’s the BJP which has given compensation for on-third of the crop loss. We curtailed black marketing of urea.

Who do you think is BJP’s biggest enemy in UP?

2017 polls will be a direct contest between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. There is large scale migration from SP and BSP. People also know how powerful BJP is and that it means business. Rahul and Sonia Gandhi owe their seats to SP’s largesse. There is a tacit understanding between SP, BSP and Congress.

What will be BJP’s USP in UP polls?

Organisational strength is the key to BJP’s success.

Why is BJP not declaring a chief ministerial candidate? Is there a problem of plenty?

The Parliamentary Board will decide the CM candidate. Varun Gandhi is no factor in UP. We have formed governments in Maharashtra and Haryana without declaring a CM candidate.

Why is BJP politicising the surgical strikes in PoK?

The Opposition is politicising the issue, not the BJP. Rahul Gandhi started off by the ‘Khoon ki Holi’ remark. Then we had to tell the people the reality. We had to show what a 56 inch can do. PM doesn’t only talk, he also acts. When Opposition makes it an issue, we cannot keep quiet.

(You can watch the entire interview on the programme To The Point at 1 pm and 5.30 pm on Thursday, only on Rajya Sabha TV)