Those found guilty of corruption in the past 14 years will have to face action, says UP BJP chief Keshav Maurya.
Flushed with the stupendous success of the BJP in UP, his face smeared with saffron “gulal”, UP BJP president Keshav Maurya has suddenly emerged as the man of the moment in the state. From being dismissed as a political lightweight when he won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Keshav Maurya is now a man to watch out for. In between the blaring of trumpets and beating of “dhol” at the party office, he squeezed in time for an interview with AMITA VERMA.
Q. Did you really expect such a huge victory for the BJP in UP?
A. Ever since the elections were announced, I have been saying “Abki baar, teen sau paar (This time we will cross the 300 mark)”. We were confident of winning around 300 seats because we could see that people were weary of the SP-BSP cycle that was marked by corruption and rising crime. We had no doubts about our victory.
Q. What marked this victory, apart from the fact that the people were upset with SP and BSP?
A. The people’s faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership has grown and become stronger. Party president Amit Shah’s organisational skills are meticulous and unparalleled. The combination of Mr Modi and Mr Shah scripted the party’s success story.
Moreover, we promised development and the people believed us because they have seen how the Modi government is working.
Q. But if you were so sure of the party’s success, what made the Prime Minister campaign for three days in his constituency?
A. The Prime Minister is a MP too and like other MPs, he spent time in his constituency. Those who thought we were apprehensive of our performance can now set their doubts at rest. Moreover, Modiji is not a Prime Minister who works only for eight hours a day.
Q. How did you deal with resentment over ticket distribution which was very much evident during elections?
A. The BJP has a dedicated and committed cadre and it is human to feel upset if things do not work out at times. But our workers got over the initial resentment and worked for the party and it is for this that I salute my party workers who put the party before their own interests.
Q. You have said that cases of corruption will be dealt with firmly.
A. We will definitely examine all complaints of corruption in the past 14 years and those found guilty will have to face action. We are not going to victimise anyone, but we are not going to handle them with kid gloves either. There will be no attempt to save anyone found involved in corruption. We have promised a clean and transparent government and we will ensure it at all costs.
Q. Are you a candidate for the chief minister’s post?
A. I am an ordinary party worker and the party’s parliamentary board will take a decision on this issue. It is not within my purview to comment on it.
Q. With people’s expectations soaring, do you think the BJP will be able to live up to it?
A. We are going to work doubly hard to live up to the people’s expectations and the BJP does what it says so all this should not be very difficult. We will work as a team and make sure that there is greater success on 2019.
Q. The BSP and now the SP have raised questions about tempering of EVMs after the results. What do you have to say?
A. This is ridiculous. I expect the SP and BSP to accept their defeat with grace. Raising questions amounts to disrespecting the people’s mandate.