Author, commentator and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never frontally say that he is a pro-Muslim man even though he is trying hard to refurbish his image from the Hindu Hriday samrat to now in process of becoming the messiah of poor.
Delineating that PM’s policy is development for all, which includes Muslims as well, the journalist turned politician says that this is where PM Modi is different from Vajpayee who was seen as fair to the community.
He says that BJP is much bigger than RSS, but there is no denying the fact that the parental organisation does influence the workings of the party. Faceless BJP in Uttar Pradesh says Dasgupta is the biggest challenge for the BJP but the sentiment on the ground is largely in favour of the saffron party where demonetisation is not a factor at all to judge.
Lambasting the Samjawadi party and Congress alliance, Rajya Sabha MP says that the euphoria and the chemistry was a transient affair and the analysts have underestimated the strength of BSP.
He says that if 2012 is taken as the base BJP will do well but if 2014 is taken as the base, whether the magic will be replicated, is a big question.
Here are a few edited excerpts from the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV Anchor Neelu Vyas
Q: Is it a do or die battle for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, what is your assessment?
Assembly elections in UP have an exceptional importance… A complete disjuncture witnessed on how assembly, parliamentary elections turns out
UP has importance in terms of who governs in Lucknow. The situation is intriguing; BJP was always a constant factor and BJP was always in the race
Q: will the Samajwadi Party and Congress alliance not blunt BJP’s advantage?
The euphoria of Cong, SP alliance was present, A belief also ran that BSP won’t fair enough, Cong, SP alliance facing challenges than anticipated.
Q: Are you trying to say BJP has no reasons to worry of the alliance?
BJP has reasons to worry considering 2012 elections as the base point, BJP is expected a spectacular performance. Revival expected by BJP, social constituency of Congress has eroded. It still impart goodwill when minority Muslim votes are concerned
Q: What is BJP’s biggest challenge for UP polls?
Entering assembly elections without a CM face is a test for BJP, not having a local face can also pose a challenge… The party should not regret over exposure of Modi
Q: It’s faceless BJP but at the same time it’s an overexposure of Prime Minister?
Goodwill for PM Modi reflected in recent major success in Assam. Assam had a local face for BJP…It faltered in Delhi, Bihar by not having a local face…. Every election has its own chemistry
Q: Don’t you think this round of elections will be a referendum on demonetisation?
In electoral rhetoric, demonetisation is gradually fading… Demonetisation is no longer a determining factor
Q: what about the Akhilesh factor in this election?
The trend in UP is variable, the theme would be Akhilesh… He is trying to get out of father’s shadow, a Mahabharata type melodrama happens in Indian politics, Mulayam Singh should focus on national politics
Q: How do you see Prime Minister making the shamshan and kabrustan comment? Does it not show communal fault lines?
Communal frontline pre-existed in UP, politicians aren’t fools. Issues won’t resonate in grounds, if not dealt. A sense of discrimination persists in the state. In elections, no gentlemanly debates take place PM Modi loves the fight
Q: Is PM Modi working to refurbish his image from being the Hindu hriday samrat to now becoming the messiah of poor?
Multiple faces projected of Modi. India be brought in 21st century irrespective of political risks 24, the PM thinks political risks are worth taking
Q: But will PM Modi ever be seen as a pro-Muslim person?
Modi’s outlook is pro-development. He will never frontally say that he is pro-Muslim. He thinks development will benefit all the communities. Bajpai govt was fair. The idea is not to have any communal mentality