With Lok Sabha poll results just a week away, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said it did not believe in ‘political untouchability’ and was open to support from any party. While exuding confidence that the party and its existing partners would win more than 300 seats to form a government, Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah said that the party was open to support from any party ‘if they want to ally for the country’ development’.
Reacting to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati’s comments that there was no possibility of her party supporting the BJP, Shah told reporters in Varanasi during a press conference that ‘the BJP does not believe in political untouchability’.
Mayawati’s comments came a day after BJP prime ministerial candidate indicated in an interview that he expected more parties to join the National Democratic Alliance after elections.
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Shah also reiterated BJP’s demand for the transfer of Varanasi district magistrate Pranjal Yadav and asked Election Commission to deploy central paramilitary forces in all 18 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh that would go to polls on Monday along with Varanasi, as all of them were sensitive. “While we welcome deployment of forces for elections here, why Azamgarh is being left out from where Mulayam Singh Yadav is fighting and his son Akhilesh Yadav is chief minister of this state,” Shah said.
The BJP leader also took a jibe at the election authorities and the district magistrate for denying permission to Modi to carry out his rally, while allowing others. About Kejriwal’s roadshow on Friday and two other roadshows planned for Saturday -- by Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, Shah said, “It is good that DM has allowed them to hold roadshows”.
He claimed that the saffron party was moving towards a historic win in UP, even though all three opponents -- Congress, the Samajwadi Party and BSP appeared to be fighting together. “It’s Modi versus all, but people in UP have come out to support BJP irrespective of their castes, religion, age group and society, as they are suffering from a double incumbency -- one against the UPA government and the other against the state government,” Shah added.
On the Centre’s submission before the Supreme Court in the snoopgate matter, Shah said, “We have already set up a probe panel. It was the Centre which earlier said they want to set up their own panel, which now they have refused to.”
Giving details of Modi’s public programmes so far, Shah said that the Gujarat chief minister had so far addressed 437 rallies and participated in as many as 5,827 public programmes for these elections. “Modi has traveled 3 lakh km and visited 25 states to connect with the people.” Asserting that these were no more BJP rallies and had become public rallies, Shah said that the impact was visible and the party was now confident that it would get more than 300 seats along with its allies to form the next government.
The BJP leader refused to comment on queries about the possibility of his fighting from the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat if it is vacated by Modi or being the next chief minister of Gujarat. Shah said that he does not want party matters to be decided through press conferences.
About the controversy surrounding Modi’s caste, Shah said that the BJP has already cleared its position and the charges levelled by Congress were baseless and untrue.
When asked who the BJP considered a more serious contender between Kejriwal and Congress’ Ajay Rai, Shah said that BJP did not give any prominence to either of them.