'Educated Muslim women overwhelmingly voted for me because of Modiji's stand on triple talaq.'
Newly minted Deoband MLA Brijesh Singh speaks with Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore about his victory from a seat dominated by 50 per cent Muslim voters, and which is the home to the Darul Uloom, the Islamic seminary founded in 1866 and where the Deobandi movement began.
Brijesh Singh, left, below, who won the Deoband constituency in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district by polling 102,244 votes, 29,400 votes more than the Bahujan Samaj Party's Majid Ali, who polled 72,844 votes.
Mavia Ali, the Samajwadi Party's sitting MLA, ranked a distant third with just over 50,000 votes.
Who gets the credit for your victory?
I owe my victory to all the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party from my constituency and all those who voted for me and reposed their faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The constituency from which you won, Deoband, has more than 70 per cent Muslims, and their share in the total voters is 50 per cent.
Generally, it is considered that Muslims don't vote for the BJP but yet you defeated the BSP's Majid Ali and the SP's sitting MLA Maviya Ali, both Muslim candidates.
What went right for you?
The voters of Uttar Pradesh, whatever their caste or religion, have been suffering hugely because of the goonda raj and corruption of the SP and the BSP.
In contrast, people have been watching the performance of the Union government under the leadership of honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his policies.
It was quite evident to the people of Uttar Pradesh that Akhileshji's government was not implementing the policies of the central government meant for UP.
Just not my seat, if you look at the way the people of UP voted you will be convinced that the people have voted for the performance and policies of the honourable Modi government.
Our opponents criticised demonetisation, but the UP mandate has shown that people have stood firmly behind demonetisation and Modiji.
BJP candidates have won seats which have a Muslim majority. Is it an indication that the BJP has struck a chord with Muslims or vice versa?
This is my personal conviction that a lot of Muslim women voted for us because of the stand taken by Modiji on the issue of triple talaq.
In my constituency I personally believe educated Muslim women overwhelmingly voted for me because of Modiji's stand on triple talaq.
I have not analysed the booth-wise data yet, but this is my personal opinion based on what I saw on the ground during my election campaign.
I could clearly see Muslim women standing in support of Modiji's stand on triple talaq.
Didn't the split in Muslim votes among the BSP and SP in Deoband work in your favour. BSP leader Mayawati has raised doubts about your victory.
I rubbish such claims of Behenji.
The day I was nominated for the Deoband seat, the BSP had already declared its candidate, but the SP had not even declared its candidate.
The SP candidate was declared after I filed my nomination papers from Deoband.
In fact, the Deoband seat first went to the Congress. They had declared Mukesh Chaudhary as their candidate, but after the Congress-SP alliance took shape Deoband went to the SP.
But this had no impact on my victory because the people of Deoband were already two steps ahead of such political machinations and had made up their mind.
In such situations, you always get the results that you saw in UP on March 11.
The UP voter has given a clear mandate for the policies of Modiji.
On the ground during your election campaign, did you feel that Muslims were connecting or were trying to go along with the BJP and the prime minister's policies?
The BSP, SP and Congress have always won their mandate by dividing Hindustanis as Hindus and Muslims.
The BJP has always considered every citizen as a Hindustani. We never do the politics of communal division of voters.
Prime Minister Modiji has always maintained that all those who want development have always voted for the BJP.
Now that a BJP government will be in place in Uttar Pradesh after almost two decades, what do you think should be the top priorities of this government?
The BJP had put forth its Sankalp Patra, in the presence of the state and national president Keshav Prasad Mauryaji and Amit Shahji, before the people of UP.
All the promises we made to the people in our Sankalp Patra will be our top priorities.
The overwhelming mandate of UP's voters clearly shows that they want us to implement the promises made in our Sankalp Patra.
The state government will fulfil all its promises to the people of the state under the policies and guidance of Modiji.
Did you expect the BJP to win Uttar Pradesh so overwhelmingly?
100 per cent! 100 per cent!
I was in Varanasi after my constituency went to the polls in the second phase to oversee the responsibility given to me by my party. I campaigned in three to four seats there.
When Modiji conducted his roadshows in Varanasi, looking at the huge turnout and enthusiasm of the people there, I was very confident that UP's mandate in our favour will help us cross the 300 seat mark.
Now that the BJP has a sweeping majority in Uttar Pradesh, would you like to see the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya?
Let me reiterate that not only a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, but we will work towards fulfilling all the promises we have made to the people of Uttar Pradesh in our Sankalp Patra.
Our single most principle is sabka sath, sabka vikas and under Prime Minister Modiji's leadership we will do it in Uttar Pradesh in the next five years.
Who should become the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh?
I am a newly elected legislator and this decision is not in my domain.
The BJP is a party of disciplined workers and the decision taken by our central leadership will be accepted by each and every worker of the party.
Would you be part of the next government in Uttar Pradesh?
I never live under delusions. I have already stated that in the BJP, an ordinary worker is shaped by our our organsation's ideology and principles.
These decisions are taken by the organisation, and not an individual.
The BJP gave me an opportunity to contest an election and by the blessings of our workers I have won the Deoband seat.
I will always respect the decision my organisation takes for me and keep working as a party's loyal soldier.
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