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Didn't Say Anything Wrong during Polls, If Mayawati is Proud of her Vote Bank, So am I: Yogi Adityanath

Responding to questions about the statements that he made during Lok Sabha polls, for which he was banned from campaigning by the EC, Adityanath said in politics aggression is the key.

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Updated:September 19, 2019, 7:31 PM IST
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Didn't Say Anything Wrong during Polls, If Mayawati is Proud of her Vote Bank, So am I: Yogi Adityanath
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

New Delhi: “If Mayawati is proud of her vote bank so am I,” said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while responding to questions about his communally polarising statements during the general election campaign.

Responding to questions about the statements that he made, for which he was banned from campaigning by the Election Commission, Adityanath said in politics aggression is the key.

"Every action has a reaction. If you have a vote bank, then we also have a vote bank. If you are proud of your vote bank, then we too are proud of ours. I did not mention any caste or community. I think a normal Hindu worships Bajrang Bali, but Mayawati appealed to a particular community. So I feel every action has a reaction, and public considered it," Adityanath said in an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.

In response to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief statements, in which during a political rally she had warned Muslims against splitting their votes, Adityanath had said, “If the Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP have Ali, then we have Bajrang Bali”. Adityanath had also referred to Muslim League flags raised in Kerala as a “green virus”. Both Adityanath and Mayawati were barred from campaigning for some time by the EC.

When asked whether he had any remorse for saying the things that he had at an extremely sensitive time, the chief minister said, "If something is said, it is never that the person doesn't understand what he is saying. One part of the election is filled with communalism, and they are trying to provoke a certain class. We will give an answer to that. In politics, it is better to attack than be defensive and during election, we did not do anything wrong."

Adityanath said the BJP had gone to people with a positive development-based agenda. He said the Samajwadi Party, led by Ahhilesh Yadav, was placed in a similar situation when the last Lok Sabha elections were held in 2014 having governed the state for about two-and-a-half years.

"We brought policies for villagers, farmers and women. They knew they would have to pay for what they did during their rule. People will compare and we brought the same comparison in front of the people. They also had two-and-half years after Modiji became the PM. They had sanctioned only 63,000 applications under the PM Housing Scheme, while our government is providing 25 lakh homes," he said.

He added that the same lack of progress could be seen in the construction of toilets. "In the first two-and-half years, 3 crore toilets were to be constructed, but only 45 lakh were built. Then our government came and in two-and-a-half years, we provided 2.61 crore toilets. That is the difference. Whenever we brought the comparison in front of the public, they appreciated us," he said.

The chief minister said that whether it be infrastructure, economic growth or social services, his government has worked aggressively in all departments. "I had completed two years as UP CM by that time and we had a long list of development work. So we went to the public with that list and we made development and good governance our election issues. But when the opposition moved from these issues, we had to take some steps."

The Adityanath-led BJP government completed the half-way mark of its five-year tenure on Thursday. The saffron-robed chief minister faces his first big test, after the 2019 general polls, in what is being called a mini-Assembly election with 13 seats in the state going to bypolls in the coming months.

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