BJP national president Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday that the party would go it alone in the coming Uttar Pradesh (UP) assembly polls, and would be willing to sit in opposition if required.
Addressing an impressive gathering here, Gadkari said, “I promise we will not enter into any direct or indirect alliance with the BSP or the Samajwadi Party. If the people do not give us a mandate to come to power, we will sit in opposition.” He added that the party would not repeat the mistakes of the past, meaning an alliance with the BSP. Gadkari also sent ample signals that there would be no alliance with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal too, unlike in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
“We don’t need bikaau (sold out) friends but tikaau (long-lasting) friends,” he said in what was seen as a barb on Ajit Singh, who has been accused of trading votes for cash by Wikileaks cables. “We will have no understanding with the corrupt.”
Gadkari’s utterances are being seen as an indication that the BJP is following the Congress formula in the state, and wants to recapture its former support base rather than counting on allies to see itself through.
“Feedback we are getting from the ground suggests our supporters want us to go it alone, without going with parties that do not share our ideology and turn our voters away,” Gadkari told Hindustan Times.
A day earlier at Ayodhya, Gadkari had made what was seen as a call to people, particularly upper castes, to leave the BSP and return to the BJP.
Invoking Rana Pratap and Shivaji, he had called upon BSP members to join hands with the nationalist thought of the BJP if they had any honour left.
“This was a veiled call to upper castes, many of whom drifted away to the BSP in 2007, to come back...,” said a BJP leader.