BJP on backfoot; UP polls results are going to be surprising: Bhupesh Baghel at HTLS
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been retracing its steps and a few elections have forced the ruling party to rethink several of its decisions, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who never used to apologise and take back his decisions, is now doing so, Baghel said while speaking to Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times’ national political editor on the last day of HTLS 2021.
“He has been taking a few steps back now - be it farmers' issue or fuel prices,” Baghel said. “The result of one by-election forced the Centre to cut duty on petrol and diesel,” he pointed.
People, Baghel said, have taught the BJP a lesson and the party will be defeated in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“The Congress party believes that the results of the upcoming assembly elections in UP will be surprising,” the Chhattisgarh chief minister added.
“I have been visiting Uttar Pradesh and the people of the state have made their mind that they don’t want Yogi Adityanath. People, however, yet to decide who should replace Yogi Adityanath,” he said.
Priyanka Gandhi has relentlessly worked to strengthen the organisation while covering the length and breadth of the state and she has been meeting poor people and wiping their tears even when she was troubled by the state government. “So, she is emerging as a new and strong face,” he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government labelled those protesting against the three farm laws with various names. “The BJP is still not accepting its mistakes...even though they have repealed the three farm laws,” Baghel said.
The Chhattisgarh CM also said law for minimum support price or MSP is possible. “We have been buying at MSP for 20 years in Chhattisgarh,” he said.
The chief minister also took potshots at Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. For Akhilesh Yadav, he questioned what he said was his absence after the Hathras and Lakhimpur Kheri incidents in Uttar Pradesh. “Does he appear only before the polls?” he asked.
Mamata Banerjee's political ambitions have been unclear and she once displayed her wrath against PM Modi during the Bengal elections. But now she is insulting the Congress, which is opposed to the BJP, and meeting the Prime Minister by herself. “The nation deserves to know what transpired in the meeting," Baghel said.
He also pointed it was Mamata Banerjee who gave the BJP space in West Bengal. “You can not fight and win elections based on religious politics and by insulting every time. Slogans like ‘Didi o Didi' weren't appreciated by the women of West Bengal,” he added.
“Political experts are watching every step Mamataji is taking,” he said indicating she may rejoin the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).