Defectors from BJP will lose: Keshav Prasad Maurya

U.P. Deputy Chief Minister says defectors will hurt SP more.

February 05, 2022 01:52 pm | Updated 11:17 pm IST

BJP president J.P. Nadda with Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, during a road show after Mr. Maurya filed his nomination papers for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in Kaushambi.

BJP president J.P. Nadda with Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, during a road show after Mr. Maurya filed his nomination papers for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in Kaushambi.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya dismissed any suggestions that the exodus of 10 BJP MLAs, including three Ministers, to the Samajwadi Party would have an adverse impact on the party’s prospects in the Assembly polls currently under way in the State.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Maurya said, “Forget about hurting the BJP. Jahan yeh log gayein hain un partiyon main sar phutawval shuru ho gayi hai (these people are now creating problems for the parties they have joined after leaving the BJP). The people who left BJP are now changing the constituency from where they are fighting, they are abandoning their old constituencies as they fear losing. But wherever they fight from, they will lose and the lotus will bloom.”

He played down suggestions that CM Yogi Adityanath had been having trouble keeping his flock together, calling such speculations as coming from Opposition or media.

Excerpts from the interview:

‘Exodus of MLAs makes no difference to BJP’

The BJP campaign so far has been stressing on suraksha [security]. Is that all that the party is going to the people after five years?

Law and order are, of course, important, but we are also talking about development in various sectors of the economy. Be it infrastructure, food security, education and the economy, we are talking about all that we have done and what people themselves are experiencing .

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But local MLAs wrote to the Chief Minister during the second wave of COVID-19, complaining that the administration was unresponsive.

They wrote as people’s representatives, pointing to issues they were facing.

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But it was more about how the distance between Lucknow and districts had become too big and that they themselves were feeling undermined.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we fought well within the resource constraints we were facing. As far as any shortcomings in terms of application of these resources are concerned, then the MLAs were well within adhikar kshetras [within their remit] to raise any of these issues with the Chief Minister. But what would you say about our Opposition, which belittled what our scientists had achieved in terms of developing and producing vaccines to combat coronavirus? They termed the vaccines developed by scientists as “BJP vaccines” to spread hesitancy among the people at large. Whether the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party, neither was visible on the ground during these waves of the disease to help people; instead, the BJP’s booth workers to the State unit president were on the ground. Whatever their capacity, BJP workers applied themselves to helping people.

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In June last year, there was much talk that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would be replaced, that he depended on a coterie of officials and had less trust on his own Ministers, in comparison. There was also talk that you were also aggrieved. What is the state of the leadership now? Have all issues been resolved?

Much of this speculation is from the Opposition and our friends in the media. There are no differences within our government or even between me and Yogi ji , nor will there be. We are all together for public service, and we take our guidance from Prime Minister Modi , party president J.P. Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. They are our margdarshaks , and the party is united under them. The result will be out on March 10 and will be like in 2017, with over 300 seats for us.

The BJP recently saw an exodus of 10 MLAs, including three Ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government, to the Samajwadi Party. Are you worried about the fallout of this exodus?

It makes no difference to the BJP. We are so strong organisationally, not just at the booth level but also at every panna [page] level of a voters list, that you can send any candidate and our workers will ensure a victory. Whoever the BJP selects as a candidate, the party organisation has the saamarth [capacity] to make sure that the candidate wins, and added to that is the candidate’s own strength, making our victory margins big. Forget about hurting the BJP, jahan yeh log gayein hain un partiyon main sar phutawval shuru ho gayi hai [these people are now creating problems for the parties they have joined after leaving BJP]. The people who left BJP are now changing the constituency from where they are fighting, they are abandoning their old constituencies, as they fear losing. But wherever they fight from, they will lose and kamal ka phool khilega [lotus will bloom].

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