Lok Sabha elections 2019 |’Modi’s popularity, Nitish’s work will pay us rich dividends’:…

BJP’s general secretary and the party’s in-charge of Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav, is confident of his party’s ”better” performance this time compared to 2014. A Rajya Sabha member, Yadav is regarded as a key strategist for the party behind the victories in the assembly elections of Rajasthan (2013), Gujarat (2017), Jharkhand (2014) and Uttar Pradesh (2017), Excerpts from an interview with Vijay Swaroop.

Four phases are over. Now, a majority of seats going to polls in next three phases were won by the NDA. How confident is your party and the alliance of repeating the same performance?

In the first three phases, we have gained seats in an unprecedented manner and it has given us reasons to believe that in the coming phases, we will be more comfortable. We will gain further.

What is the rationale behind such confidence?

People’s faith in the prime minister and his popularity. The last one year has been year of achievements. The country is progressing and in Bihar, the NDA is contesting election with full dedication and strength. The work of good governance and development done under Nitish Kumar’s leadership will also benefit us.

You were made in-charge of Bihar’s BJP before the 2015 assembly elections. What difference do you see in the alliance in four years?

There is more positivity. The alliance has become stronger and there is a strong trust among people towards the government at centre. The positivity is towards PM Modi’s achievements, national security, development and for the formation of new India.

In assembly elections of 2015, opposition lapped up the reservation comment of RSS chief. What steps have your party to taken to counter the negative propaganda of the opposition that BJP will remove reservations?

We have said with confidence that we will uphold all reservations as given by Constitution. We will expose the falsehood being spread by opposition. It was the BJP which, without touching the existing reservations, brought reservation for the poor among the general category. So, now the onus is on the RJD to clear their stand. There is a difference between what they say and what they practise.

Do you support use of provocative language in campaigning?

Not much provocative language has been used by candidates. But see tweets by RJD leaders. The language is uncultured, undignified and full of arrogance. Misa Bharti compares Begusarai with Pakistan and Shatrughan Sinha talks of role of Jinnah in freedom struggle. A RJD leader advises people not to sing Vande Matram. The use of provocative speech and language has been from the opposition, which is disintegrated. They believe more on personal attacks. They don’t have issues. That is why they are taking help of lies.

The party banked on old warhorses and did not give chance to new faces?

It’s not like that. We have given chance to new candidates wherever required. But since seats were limited and we have established a leadership, we stuck with them.

There was resentment in a section of party leaders over ticket distribution?

Yes, that is true. But we talked to all concerned and addressed to their grievances.

It is alleged BJP used Army for political gains?

It is wrong to say that. For use, country’s security comes first, be it from terror or external aggression.

Is Nitish Kumar a bigger factor than Modi in Bihar?

The NDA government ran successfully under Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and under Nitish Kumar in Bihar. The NDA government is involved in all-round development.

First Published:
Apr 30, 2019 14:54 IST

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