New Delhi, Sept. 20: The BJP will not have an alliance or a “tacit understanding” with any party in Uttar Pradesh for 2014, Narendra Modi’s political aide Amit Shah said.
Shah, who in five months as general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh claims he has covered every district except Allahabad, told The Telegraph: “There is no question of an alliance. We are fighting to wrest the maximum number of seats and so each one matters to us.”
Asked about the prospect of tying up yet again with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (the BJP had an alliance with it in 2009), Shah said: “The question does not arise. It is almost unprecedented that the Jats and Gujjars have consolidated around the BJP, so why should we let down our voters?”
The buzz is that Ajit had tapped the BJP so that the party does not put up strong candidates against him and his son, Jayant Chaudhary.
In 2009, Ajit won from Baghpat and Jayant from Mathura after a pact with the BJP that used to have a huge following in western Uttar Pradesh in the Ayodhya era and thereafter.
A source close to Ajit rubbished the talk as “pure speculation”. But BJP sources in western Uttar Pradesh said that without their backing, Ajit and his son would find it hard to keep their seats.
Asked about Ajit’s supposed overtures, Shah said: “It is impolitic to talk about other parties and their leaders.”
After the Muzaffarnagar communal violence, there is a belief in the BJP that if it sticks to the line against alleged “minority-appeasement” by other parties, it could harness the Hindu votes. Shah said Jats and Gujjars are on the same side, a rarity, to protest the Samajwadi Party’s alleged “minority-appeasement policy”.
In its attempt to recoup in western Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has brought to the forefront the MLA quartet of Suresh Rana, Bhartendu Singh, Hukkum Singh and Sangeet Som.
The idea is to lead the charge against the “secular brigade”. They had allegedly made incendiary speeches and one of them, Rana, was arrested today.
In tow was a non-MLA preacher, Sadhvi Prachi, a Dalit from western Uttar Pradesh. She completes the caste axis of Jat-Gujjar-Thakur, represented by the other four.
As the BJP has begun scouring its ranks for Lok Sabha candidates, Modi is set to hit the campaign trail with a rally in Kanpur on October 15, followed by Jhansi on October 25 and Bahraich on November 8.
Modi’s first leg in Uttar Pradesh will be marked by rallies in smaller towns. After assessing the response and outcome, sources said, he will sally forth into the bigger cities and hit Lucknow the last.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, who is from Uttar Pradesh, will accompany him everywhere. Rajnath will visit Muzaffarnagar tomorrow morning.