LUCKNOW: Asserting that the BJP will cross the 300-mark in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls next year, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Thursday said the elections will be decisive and pave way for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
He said the elections will be fought under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and added that the next CM will be decided by the central leadership and elected MLAs.
“The 2022 elections will be decisive and will pave way for the 2024 election. The outcome will be in favour of the BJP. I am not the party president now but my role in 2022 will not be less than his,” Maurya told PTI in an interview.
Claiming that the BJP would cross the 300-mark in 2022, he said, “I don’t see any doubt in crossing this figure. We believe that the elections of 2022 will be decisive and pave way for 2024”.
On the question of leadership, Maurya said “At present Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister. Right now we are also believing and everyone else is also believing that when the results of 2022 will come, Yogi ji will be the chief minister. But this cannot be said by me. This decision has to be taken by the central leadership, the Central Parliamentary Board and central observers”.
Maurya was the state President of the BJP at the time of the 2017 assembly elections, and under his leadership, the party got 312 out of the 403 seats while 13 seats were won by allies.
After the win, there was speculation that Maurya would be made the chief minister but the central leadership chose Adityanath.
Responding to a question, he said, “Backward castes constitute 55 percent of the population in Uttar Pradesh. It is not possible to do politics or work leaving 55 percent of the community neglected. We are working for the uplift of every section. In all the elections that have been won since 2014 till now, the biggest contribution has been made by the backward classes.”
Asked if the backward castes have been given fair representation, Maurya said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes from a backward class. The BJP constantly thinks and works with the vision of social uplift and harmony.”
On being asked whether Brahmins are angry with the BJP, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “No section is angry with the BJP”.
On the opposition charge that the government and especially the chief minister is giving preference to a particular caste and this is also one of the reasons for the displeasure among Brahmins, Maurya said, “These are allegations only.”
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party President Om Prakash Rajbhar recently said the BJP did not make Maurya the chief minister even after promising him.
When asked about this, Maurya said, “Who told this to Om Prakash Rajbhar ji. I do not know because then I was the state president and at that time no decisions were taken in my absence.”
When Adityanath’s name came up, some people naturally spoke about it because the state president becomes the CM of the state, he said.
On some BJP MPs, MLAs and a Union Minister expressing displeasure over the system that was in place in the state to deal with the Covid wave, Maurya said, “Something must have been lacking somewhere, we do not deny it.”
“It is also true that Uttar Pradesh fought in the best way against Covid as compared to other states. Our government fought against corona and won it,” he said.
On charges of religious polarisation against the BJP, Maurya said, “I think people judge in their own way. We fight elections on merit and win elections.”
“There is no place in our government for religious polarisation.It is true that there have been no riots, no disputes in our government. This definitely causes restlessness in the opposition camp. If the opposition parties see polarisation in the development work, then there is a defect in their vision,” he said.