With 75+ Target in UP, BJP Will Break 2014 Record in 2024, SP Set For Oblivion: KP Maurya to News18

The Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 general elections will break its 2014 record of winning 73 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and all other political parties in the state are hurtling towards political oblivion, UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya told News18 on Thursday.

“We have a 75+ seat target for 2024. The Yadav and Jatav communities, and especially the Pasmanda Muslims, are now behind Narendra Modi and have started voting for the BJP in big numbers,” he said in a detailed interview at his Lucknow residence. Yadavs and Jatavs have traditionally been the vote bank of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party respectively, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently asked the BJP in UP to focus on Pasmanda Muslims.

Maurya also said that the big wins for the BJP in the Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha bypolls, “where the permutations were not favourable for us”, showed a record win was in store for the party in 2024. He said the SP was proceeding towards being “Samaptvadi Party” (Finished Party) and there was no chance for Akhilesh Yadav to make a comeback as “politics requires hard work” and CM’s chair is not anyone’s birthright.

Maurya also said that state minister Dinesh Khatik “should not have written the resignation letter” that he did and should have raised his issues in a proper forum. He strongly denied that the state’s bulldozer campaign was aimed at Muslims and said the community has seen that “no one has been harmed” under 8 years of Narendra Modi’s rule or 6 years of Yogi Adityanath’s rule, unless someone did something illegal.

Edited excerpts:

How do you see the political scenario of Uttar Pradesh presently?

There is a big gap in UP politics. Congress is a near-finished party in UP, SP is heading towards being “Samaptvadi (Finished) Party” and BSP is also on the same path. We have fixed a 75+ seat target for Lok Sabha polls in 2024 and our responsibility is bigger due to this political gap. The onus is on BJP to fulfill the big public expectations.

Your Seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in UP had reduced from 73 to 64. Isn’t 75+ a very ambitious target for 2024?

Due to the SP-BSP coalition in 2019, our seats reduced, but our votes went up. In 2024, I can see that our votes will not reduce. When UP has to make Narendra Modi the PM, then the youth, aged, poor, and SC/ST or the backwards — all are together to make Modi PM and no one is ready to compromise on this count. They see Modi in the lotus symbol of the BJP. So I have no confusion. The record we made of 73 seats out of 80 in 2014 in UP, that record will be broken by the BJP in the 2024 general elections.

How big were the Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha bypoll wins?

Those were very big wins and major achievements. It was a big thing to win Azamgarh, a seat left by Akhilesh Yadav, and to win Rampur, a seat left by Mohammad Azam Khan. The permutations in both seats were not favourable for the BJP, but we won them. So be it the Yadav or Jatav community, and especially the Pasmanda Muslims, they are behind Modi and have started voting for BJP in big numbers.

PM Modi has recently also asked the UP BJP to focus on Pasmanda Muslims…

We have a minister from the Pasmanda Muslim community in UP and that community is also backing us now. This is a very poor section that has seen a lot of hardship in life. We can understand their pain. The poor — be it Hindu or Muslim — have got cylinders, houses, toilets, and now potable tap water. Hence, PM Modi has opened a lot of avenues for the poor. Pasmanda Muslims form the majority of the poor amongst Muslims. If we are removing their pain and difficulties, then they will surely give us their blessings, and I am sure that a start has been made. Four-five leaders only give lectures to Muslims on Hindu-Muslim and try to scare the Muslims about the BJP. But Muslims now see that no one has been harmed under 8 years of Narendra Modi’s rule or 6 years of Yogi Adityanath’s rule. They, however, know that whoever is wrong — be it Hindu or Muslim— that person will be acted against. Action will also be strong against the corrupt.

Can Akhilesh Yadav make a comeback in state politics?

I don’t think so. Akhilesh Yadav could run the government as the CM due to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav or his government would not have run despite a majority. Today he is in the opposition and his party is hurtling towards political oblivion. All his allies have deserted him. When someone earns something from sweat and hard work, then he realises its importance. Look at Rahul Gandhi, who thinks he has a right to become PM because his father was a PM. Same way, Akhilesh Yadav thinks he has a right to become CM because his father was the CM. With this attitude, one cannot become PM or CM. For that, one needs to work hard in a democracy. By only levelling haywire allegations in press conferences or tweeting, one cannot solve problems. One has to go amidst the people. SP has only mafia, lumpen elements, and rioters associated with it. Is any well-meaning person associated with the SP?

Shivpal Yadav and Azam Khan are upset with SP too…

That is an internal issue of the SP so I don’t want to comment. I know this much that the BJP’s future is bright in UP.

There are controversies in your government too — like minister Dinesh Khatik resigned and allegations of bulldozer drive targeting Muslims…

The bulldozer is not targeted at any community, pick the entire list and see. If someone has illegally grabbed land or the properties of other individuals or the government, we have to act to fulfill our good governance promise to citizens.
The letter written by our state minister…he should not have written it. If there was an issue, he could have raised it at the proper forum. The officials who do not listen to ministers…the government is there to act against them. Some officers have bad habits due to 15 years of rule by other parties, hence it is taking time to reform the entire system. Those efforts are on.

What was the takeaway from the recent brainstorming session of UP BJP in Chitrakoot?

Since the 2022 election results, we had started preparations for the 2024 general elections. We are training our cabinet ministers, senior party leaders, and district incharges for the job to make organisation till booth level to win every Lok Sabha seat and make a government again under PM Modi. This will bring good results, we had 15 sessions on various issues. The opposition does not want to do any work among the public. They do not have the habit of doing hard work. Hence they are not able to fulfill their responsibility towards the public. We have to run all the campaigns started by PM Modi and CM Yogi. We have to take these schemes to the people, both community and government have to work together. We have worked very hard in the rural sector as per central policies and state policies. We have decided to prepare a master plan for villages and what villages will look like over 50 years.

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