The BJP is not against any particular religion but is opposed to appeasement politics, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to News18 on Friday when asked to explain his relationship with the Muslim community.
In his first interview after filing nomination from the Gorakhpur Assembly seat, Yogi Adityanath told Rahul Joshi, Group Editor-in-Chief, Network18 that the BJP and his government firmly believe in ‘Sabka Saath, Sakba Vikas’.
“My relationship with Muslims is the same as their relationship with me. There is a Muslim minister in my cabinet. There is a Muslim minister in the Union Cabinet. Arif Mohammad Khan is serving as the Governor in Kerala… We are not focused on faces, but on development, harmony and ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. We are not against any religion. We are against anti-national forces,” Yogi Adityanath said during the interview at the Gorakhpur Temple.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 4, 2022
Hitting out against “appeasement politics of the opposition”, Adityanath said his government doesn’t discriminate. “Secularism does not mean opposing Hinduism, secularism does not mean appeasement,” he said.
The UP CM also explained his “80 versus 20” remark in recent election speeches. While the ratio was construed at referring to Hindu and Muslim populations in the state, Yogi Adityanath said it refers to the ratio of people who want growth and security versus “people who want riots, goonda raj and corruption”.
“The 80 are people who have benefitted from our schemes, those who want development, economic growth, women’s safety and farmers’ welfare. The other 20 are those whose criminal activities have been hit hard by our government’s policies,” the CM said. He also accused opposition parties of placing vote bank politics above national security.
Yogi Adityanath filed his nomination from Gorakhpur Assembly seat, his home turf, in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday. This is the first time that Adityanath, a five-time former Lok Sabha MP, is contesting the state Assembly elections as a candidate.
In 2017, when Yogi Adityanath became Chief Minister, he had opted to become member of the Legislative Council instead of contesting an Assembly seat.
As per the CM’s election affidavit, no criminal cases are pending against him and his assets increased by around Rs 59 lakh in the last four years. At the time of being elected MLC in 2017, his assets were Rs 95.98 lakh, which have now increased to Rs 1,54,94,000.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2022 will be held in seven phases on the following dates: February 10 (Thursday), February 14 (Monday), February 20 (Sunday), February 23 (Wednesday), February 27 (Sunday), March 3 (Thursday) and March 7 (Monday). The Uttar Pradesh election results 2022 will be declared on March 10 (Thursday).
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has a total of 403 seats, with 202 being the majority mark. The BJP has set the target of 300-plus seats this time as well.
In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, the BJP had swept to power with 312 seats, while the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party managed 47. Mayawati’s BSP had to contend with 19 seats and the Congress was relegated to the fourth spot in the politically significant state with just seven seats. The tenure of the current UP Assembly ends on May 14, 2022.