Om Mathur: PM Modi’s welfare schemes worked wonders in UP

Neelu Vyas
File photo of senior BJP leader and party poll in-charge in Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Mathur. (PTI)

File photo of senior BJP leader and party poll in-charge in Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Mathur. (PTI)

In an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Uttar Pradesh poll in-charge and senior BJP leader Om Prakash Mathur said that the key to BJP’s success in UP was Prime Minister’s persona and the welfare schemes launched by him.

He pointed out that the Most Backward Castes also got drifted towards BJP because of the development mantra and the hope and inspiration offered by the leadership of PM Modi.

Talking about the 18 percent Muslim population, Mathur said that the community will back the BJP, and win Prime Minister Modi’s confidence on the basis of promise of development.

He also said that days of committed vote-bank were over.

He lambasted the Left and the Opposition for not having any agenda on the table and as a result of which they were spreading misconceptions like authoritarianism, dictatorship, attack on democratic rights and so on. Mathur said these were expressions of disgruntled and defeated parties.

Here are a few excerpts translated from the interview:

Did you expect this kind of a result?

We were sure of majority – PM’s welfare schemes have worked wonders. The citizens of UP wanted a change.

Is it not true that you won UP only because of the Prime Minister’s aggressive campaign?

PM promised development. Jan Dhan, Ujjwala Gas Schemes have been successful. PM’s popularity is matchless and BJP is a party of organised cadres. All these years nothing worked in UP. Law & order in the state was the biggest casualty. But now, BJP’s membership has increased manifold.

What was BJP’s winning formula, which even the media and analysts could not assesss

Team work is the key to BJP success. Election is won by hard work not management.

PM and Amit Shah have walked away with all the credit, what about you? 

PM Modi and Amit Shah are a wonderful combination. Credit goes to PM & Amit Shah. I am just a party worker.

How did BJP  trounce other parties like SP, BSP and Congress?

BJP outdid all other parties in UP because of its social engineering and the development schemes that worked on the ground. The days of committed vote-banks are over. Now, no party can claim that this is my vote-bank. You have to show work. SP became a victim of family feud, Samajwadi Party occupied land illegally in so many places. It also tied up with the Congress which proved a liability. BJP is now a party of poor and needy.

What about the fears of 18 percent Muslim population? Your party did not give tickets to even a single candidate?

BJP is not a caste based party. We believe in Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas. Even Muslims will come with us once they gain our confidence. They will believe in our development agenda.

What will be the first priority of the new UP government?

We believe in Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas. We will make UP into a grand state in five years. Modi is PM in the real sense. He has inspired hope in the people. Welfare of the poor is our top priority. Educated class of Delhi is backward in many ways. Rural people are much more politically aware. People rely on Modi as he has a grassroots connect.

Your next big challenge…who will be the CM. What will be the criteria to select the CM candidate? 

We will choose the CM of UP on merit. Media should not bother about the criteria of CM candidate selection.

Opposition and analysts feel that an era of authoritarianism will start with such a huge mandate?

This is all hogwash. These are the expressions of defeated disgruntled parties. The Opposition is in a state of desperation.

Mayawati has alleged EVMs were tampered with?

EVM tampering is a lame excuse. Election Commission will look into making VVPAT uniform in the country. The voters decide the result.

People compare Modi era with Vajpayee and feel that Vajpayee reached out to the Opposition in a much better way?

Vajpayee and Modi cannot be compared. Each have been a boon to the party. Their styles are different. BJP speaks to all and we believe in consensus.

Left leaders like Prakash Karat has said that BJP won in UP because of highly nationalistic agenda laced with communalism?

Left has no political presence. Left wasted 35 years in West Bengal. Secular voices will have no agenda very soon. We are not scared of any negativity because development is our priority.

(Watch the entire interview on the show To The Point 10 pm tonight, only on Rajya Sabha TV)