Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Saturday announced that his party would give tickets to maximum young candidates in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
Shah made the announcement while interacting with youths from nearly 200 colleges of the state through video conferencing at the city’s Babu Banarasi Das College on Saturday evening.
His declaration was timed with the launch of the first of the 1,500 odd youth-connect programmes — titled ‘UP ke mann ki baat’ — that the BJP has decided to kick off in the poll-bound state.
“We will field maximum number of bright and talented youths in the UP polls,” Shah said.
Calling upon the youths to support the BJP’s call for ‘parivartan’ (change), Shah even allowed the youths a brief but rare peep into his private side when he answered queries on how he was as a student and whether he played pranks.
“If I get time, I will talk to you later on this, but I can tell you that even during our college days, we participated in a lot of agitations,” he said to a query from a youth from Varanasi.
Since his appointment as BJP chief in July 2014, Shah has promoted youth to key party posts in Uttar Pradesh.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Uttar Pradesh had among the highest number of first-time voters with nearly 2.5 crore young becoming eligible to exercise their franchise.
He said the BJP government at the Centre couldn’t have been possible without the 71 MPs that were elected on party tickets from the state. Shah exhorted the young to “reject the SP and the BSP” in the state polls.
“You have seen everyone else. Now, try us out. It’s natural that you suspect politicians make empty promises. If we don’t measure up to your trust, don’t believe us. We assure you that after 2017 polls your vote would naturally come to us as we intend to free the state from the clutches of caste, communal and dynastic politics,” he said.
Asked about Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s promise to voters that if elected to power, the party would write off loans of farmers, Shah said, “Though my party’s UP team would look into the issue (whether the BJP too would come out with a similar plan), we want to make farmers so strong economically that they would not want anyone to write off their loans.”