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Those Obsessed With Contesting Have Found Favour With RLD: BJP's UP Chief

As Uttar Pradesh goes to polls in a few days, BJP’s state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya talks to News18.com on what lies ahead of the SP-Congress alliance, the RLD's confidence to field candidates in all of the state seats and Mayawati’s formula of giving tickets to 97 Muslim candidates.

Eram Agha | News18.com

Updated:February 4, 2017, 9:18 AM IST
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Those Obsessed With Contesting Have Found Favour With RLD: BJP's UP Chief
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
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As Uttar Pradesh goes to polls in a few days, BJP’s state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya talks to News18.com on what lies ahead of the SP-Congress alliance, the RLD's confidence to field candidates in all of the state seats and Mayawati’s formula of giving tickets to 97 Muslim candidates.

The BJP leadership is continuously raising the Hindu ‘exodus’ issue. If voted to power what will the party do?
The situation in western Uttar Pradesh is very bad. The state government has patronised goondas and there has been no action against anyone. Through our Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra we have pledged to start a task force that will investigate the entire issue so that such a situation is not repeated and culprits are punished, no matter to what religion they belong to. We also pledge to create a system that ensures the exodus is not repeated in future.

Is the problem specific to western Uttar Pradesh? Eastern UP is taken care of?
People from eastern Uttar Pradesh must have also left their native place, but it is a very underdeveloped region and their problems are different. Exodus takes place for different reasons. Sometimes people leave for better opportunities. In western UP, that is not the case. The state-patronised crime is so much that police are not investigating it. Those who try to are removed from positions and some officials do not have the courage to start an inquiry. Eastern UP’s problems are different. For that, we are going to set up a Poorvanchal Vikas Board to bring development there. We will also focus on Bundelkhand. A well-planned roadmap for development is prepared and this is something the Samajwadi party, the BSP and Congress could not do in Uttar Pradesh during their regimes.

You were very sure to not raise the Ram Mandir issue during elections. But recently you mentioned that Ram Mandir will be built...

It is not a poll issue for us. Mandir (temple) will be built with constitutional provisions.

The BJP has always criticised Congress over dynastic politics, but has itself distributed tickets to family members of BJP leaders. Is this not dynastic politics?

Congress party’s dynastic politics works like this: From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, and then Rajiv Gandhi. People did not give Rahul Gandhi a chance to become the Prime Minister, otherwise he too would have been. And if he had his own children, one of them would have become the PM. But in BJP this is not the case. Becoming an MLA and MP is not dynastic. The arrangement is different. One has to work to get a ticket and party support. If someone has the capability to win and has worked for a chance, then he should be given the ticket to contest polls. If we deny ticket to a capable candidate only because he is related to the party, then we will lose a potential leader because for opportunity he will join any other party.

Mayawati has given tickets to 97 Muslim candidates. The BJP has not given tickets to any Muslim candidate...
In our party, tickets are not given on the basis of religion. If we had someone, a Muslim party worker who had the potential to win, we would have given him a ticket to contest elections. There is no discrimination.

There is lot of euphoria over the SP-Congress alliance in UP. Will the merger work? They have come up with an interesting slogan — ‘UP ko yeh saath pasand hai’...
Yeh saath kisiko pasand nahi hai (No one likes this alliance). UP ko BJP pasand hai (UP likes the BJP). We have no competition.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal looks very confident and is planning to contest on all seats. What will work in their favour?
The RLD is very weak. There were some people who did not get tickets from anywhere, had no support for their political future but got tickets from the RLD. Kuch log aise hain jinko chunav ladne ki bimari hai (some people are obsessed with contesting elections). You will find them getting tickets in RLD.

FULL COVERAGE: Assembly Elections 2017

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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