SP and BSP joined hands not in the interest of UP, but because of their self- interest, says Bhupendra Yadav.
As the sixth phase of polls comes to a close and both the BJP and the Congress up the ante, a key member of Team Amit Shah, BJP national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav in an interview to Yojna Gusai said that nationalism is his party's motivation and both nationalism and development have the same goal, national interest.
What will happen on May 23? Will the BJP led NDA continue to remain in power or not?
I am saying this with confidence that both the BJP and its allies' tallies will increase and our numbers will be better than 2014. My confidence comes from the fact that people want this government to continue. The Modi-led NDA government is transparent. Its team leader is not only considered a strong leader but a leader with willpower. The Modi government initiatives towards Garib Kalyan and the overall development of the country are just a few of the reasons the country wants him to continue at the helm. The way our party has expanded in the last five years, from five states (in 2014) to 12, is an indication of its growing support base and popularity.
You are talking of the development initiatives of the Modi government but the opposition claims that you have no development work to show and that’s why nationalism is the core of your election campaign
The opposition, in particular the Congress has been suffering from this complex because the people have not taken their election manifesto seriously. Our 'Sankalp Patra (manifesto)' states our commitment towards national security and making India into the fifth largest economy in the world, taking it to third position (by 2030). For the BJP, nationalism and development are one and the same thing. Nationalism is an engine for development. If nationalism is your inspiration, you stay away from caste based politics, votebank politics and dynasty politics..
What about the SP-BSP-RLD gathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh. Will it have any impact on your party's performance.
SP and BSP joined hands not in the interest of UP, but because of their self- interest. Unable to take on the BJP, they were forced to ally. But when two halves join, they become one not double. These are Lok Sabha elections. None of these parties have a national presence. In photographs, on TV, they hold hands. In reality, there's no impact.
But BSP supremo Mayawati has indicated she's a prime ministerial candidate
Who is giving her or her party this backing, neither the people nor the (SP-BSP-RLD) alliance?
Do you feel Mr Modi's 'Bhrastachari no.1" remarks against Rajiv Gandhi will have a negative impact?
The same PM, whose party was given a thumping majority (414 seats) in 1984 had to face a massive defeat in just five years. Why? Because your 1984 numbers were a result of sympathy votes. The 1989 numbers were because the Rajiv Gandhi government, did not perform. Anti-Sikh riots, Bofors scam, Bhopal gas tragedy are just some examples of why the Congress lost in 1989. Why does Congress get so agitated when a corruption case involving a member of the namdaar family is raised? In politics, it's the performance of a government that's discussed, and that's exactly what the PM did.
Do you feel that the BJP has turned into a "one man show" ?
Narendra Modi is our tallest leader but there are 8-10 senior leaders who are campaigning for the party. While the Congress only has Rahul Gandhi, the BJP has Uddhav Thackeray, Nitish Kumar, Parkash Singh Badal, Ramvilas Paswan campaigning. In the opposition camp, there are No-entry zones. Rahul Gandhi is not allowed in SP-BSP-RLD rallies and Mamata Banerjee rallies, N Chandrababu Naidu cannot enter KC Rao's rallies. And they talk about us! They are arch-rivals in the states but pretend to be together for national interest. They think that the nation does not know, but it does.