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Have a strategy to contest against SP and BSP together, says Yogi Adityanath

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister blamed “complacency and overconfidence” for the BJP’s loss at the bypolls this March.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2018 07:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Yogi Adityanath,Opposition,Uttar Pradesh polls
File photo of Utter Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. (Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo )

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said his party was ready with a strategy to take on the challenge of a united opposition in his state in the 2019 parliamentary elections, even as he blamed “complacency and overconfidence” for the BJP’s loss at the bypolls this March.

Speaking at the News18 network’s Rising India summit in New Delhi, he put the bypoll loss to a tie-up between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party into perspective, saying his party has a plan if the two rivals form an alliance for 2019.

“We have a strategy in place to contest against SP and BSP together. These plans are not made public, but are executed,” he said and claimed that the BJP will win 80 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

“These parties have been in power in the past; but today nobody can alone face the BJP. They cannot even decide who will be the leader of the coalition,” the chief minister said.

According to him, the BJP lost the bypolls to Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies because of local issues as well as party workers becoming complacent and many of them staying home, which brought down the polling percentage.

Adityanath, the chief priest of the influential Gorakhnath Mutt, was a five-time MP for Gorkhapur and the BJP conceded defeat in this seat considered its pocket borough in 29 years. Phulpur was vacated by deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

The chief minister said losses and wins are not reasons for happiness or sadness, but every win inspires and every loss teaches a lesson in public life.

“People became over confident that these seats will be won by us because it they were represented by chief minister, deputy chief minister; and did not make enough efforts,” he said.

About to complete a year in office, the young saffron-clad chief minister said development work has picked up pace and communal riots have not occurred during his term. He described the Kasganj riots as an “incident”.

“There is a difference between secular and irreligious. We should make that distinction. Government must be secular, not irreligious. If secularism means not taking sides, there is nobody more secular than Hindus. Today’s secularists have turned secularism to mean abusing India’s traditions,” he said.

He criticised the Congress for referring to the BJP’s pre-poll promises as “dramabaazi” (theatrics).

He said the Congress is upset that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country is scaling new heights and is moving ahead in all fields. “They think it is all drama, because for 10 years between 2004 and 2014 they had been doing only drama,” he said, referring to the Congress-led government in power.

Yogi trashed suggestions that he won’t visit Noida again, since his predecessors had kept away because of a so-called superstition that any chief minister visiting Noida loses power.

“I will keep coming, and soon there is a programme coming up. There was corruption, etc. here that was the bad omen and I have been sent to cleanse that,” he said.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 23:45 IST