UP Elections 2017: Without Akhilesh Yadav-Congress alliance, BJP would cross 300: Rajnath Singh
Referring to the PM's remarks earlier this week, used by critics to accuse him of attempting to communalise the Uttar Pradesh election, Singh said, "people who say this is polarising... the PM has never believed in the politics of polarisation."
A day before phase 4 polls start in Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that he believes BJP is the frontrunner in UP elections, with only competition from SP-Congress alliance, without which it would have won 300 seats.
In an interview to NDTV, Singh said, "The Prime Minister meant what he said - that nobody should be discriminated against on the basis of their religion or caste." Referring to the PM's remarks earlier this week, used by critics to accuse him of attempting to communalise the Uttar Pradesh election, Singh said, "people who say this is polarising... the PM has never believed in the politics of polarisation."
On Sunday, PM Modi told a huge audience, "there should be no discrimination. If there is land given for graveyards, there must be provisions for crematoriums. Electricity must be provided on Ramzan and Diwali. If there is power for Holi, it must be available for Eid."
The BJP has not chosen a single Muslim candidate for the state election, the minister said that there was "a consideration in the party of Muslim candidates. But it comes down to winnability." He said in the approaching elections - Gujarat - "or for the next general election, we will work on that. It is wrong to say we don't want this."
The BJP's closest competition in this election, he said, which he is confident is in the lead, is the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress. "Without that, he said, we would have crossed 300 seats." But he emphasised that there is wide anger against Akhilesh Yadav's government over law and order problems. Also a drawback, he claimed, is that the Chief Minister professes to deliver development to the state. "He speaks of one highway. Is this what a Chief Minister should offer as an example of his governance? One highway?"
The minister said that he has used no influence to get his son, Pankaj Singh, the chance to run for office from Greater Noida. "Everyone wants their children to succeed. It is the same for politicians. But look, I was asked to campaign for him. I didn't."