Senior vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rajya Sabha member Kalraj Mishra has also been the Uttar Pradesh State unit president four times. For the past year, he has been gearing up the party in U.P. for the Assembly elections. He himself is contesting Lucknow (East) Assembly seat. In the midst of hectic campaigning in Lucknow and his tours in Eastern U.P., he spoke about the BJP's prospects, election issues and said the BJP would emerge as the single largest party after the Assembly elections.
What is your assessment after three rounds of polling in the ongoing Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh? How do you rate the BJP's the chances? of BJP?
The BJP is very hopeful after the three rounds of polling, which has seen a good turnout. Generally, in Uttar Pradesh the polling percentage used to be rather low at about 47 per cent or so but this time, the nearly 60 per cent turnout indicates that people in the State have made up their mind and decided to vote to change the present government. I can say with confidence that people are showing an inclination towards the BJP and in my assessment the BJP can emerge as the single largest party in the State.
What are the factors for your optimism?
The BSP was voted to power in 2007 only due to the failure of the Samajwadi Party government. People were not feeling secure under its regime. Law and order was worsening and governance became a casualty. Therefore, they rejected the SP and brought the BSP to power. The people have realised that the BSP government, which they expected to perform, boost development and move in a positive direction, has been a complete failure. Therefore, with full confidence I can say that the BJP has an edge, particularly among the young voters because the youth is feeling that it is only the BJP which is a nationalist party, which is united and integrated and can rule and provide better governance to the State and its people.
What have been the main issues so far in these the Assembly elections so far?
I think that it is a positive development that the main issues are good governance, development and security. Issues such as corruption, black money and worsening law and order situation have become the focus. The BJP is trying to project these things before the people.
what would you say about the BJP's own set of problems and internal differences?
I do not agree. The BJP does not have internal differences. We are contesting elections collectively, and if so many national leaders are here and all are trying to project the party as a viable alternative and the strongest party, where is the harm. It does not indicate internal differences in the party but a united effort by all our leaders.
Your own leader Yogi Adityanath has said that no party would be able to form the government in U.P. and elections will be held again after a year.
That may be his assessment but I feel that the BJP will do well and emerge as the single largest party after the polls. People have seen the NDA rule at the Centre in the past and the BJP rule in U.P. and they are also seeing the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well as in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. This time round the electorate in U.P. is inclining towards the BJP.
What are your expectations from the remaining phases of polling?
I feel that our party will do well in the remaining areas. People are fed up with corruption and they want good governance and security and they feel that the BJP can deliver both, and that is why I feel that BJP will find favour with the people.