Senior BJP leader and Union minister Venkaiah Naidu ruled out projecting any Chief Ministerial face for the party in the upcoming UP assembly polls. He stressed that the BJP will fight election on developmental agenda and not on issues like Ram Temple.
Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “mascot of development” and a “bigger face”, Naidu claimed that the momentum is with the BJP.
“We have reports coming from UP, newer sections and people who were keeping a distance from BJP earlier, particularly sections of the lowest strata, they are all moving towards BJP after the demonetisation or remonetisation,” he said.
“This will I am sure gain further momentum as the fruits of anti-corruption vaccine administered by Modi become visible,” the Information and Broadcasting Minister said, adding that anti-black money campaign has attracted people, specially from the lower sections of the society.
To a query about the party’s strategy in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “You only have to convince people that they have seen SP, BSP and Congress for long. They have voted for Modi in the Lok Sabha overwhelmingly, and seeing the results at the Centre”.
Claiming that the “fruits of development” are not reaching UP, Naidu said “the delivery system of Uttar Pradesh is totally corrupt or incapable of delivery. So elect BJP, so that UP also can develop. That is the development agenda.”
On the question if Ram Temple issue would be part of BJP’s poll plank, he said the subject is “dear” to the party but it will not be part of “electoral” strategy.
“Temple was never an election issue. It is an aspiration of the people… Temple construction is very dear to us. But that is not the electoral issue. Issue is development, development, development,” he added further.
Talking about the on-going tussle within the ruling Samajwadi Party, he said that “Mulayam Singh and son are falling apart”.
To a query on the party’s chief ministerial face in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “We have a bigger face. We succeeded in Maharashtra without announcing a CM candidate, we seceded in Haryana, without a CM candidate. We seceded in Jharkhand without a CM candidate”.
“We have found that people are willing to vote for development and vote for party. The strategy differs from state to state. But in UP, we have decided not to project anybody as CM candidate,” Naidu said.
(With inputs from the PTI)