New Delhi: It’s “natural” for people to mention Yogi Adityanath as a future prime ministerial candidate, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said, citing developmental work carried out by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
In an interview to The Indian Express published Tuesday, Shah expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win the UP election “with a thumping majority” and showered praise on the UP CM, saying he has led an “exemplary” life and done great work on law and order.
Asked about the people describing Yogi as a future PM candidate, Shah said: “Naturally. So much work has been done under him, after so many years. UP got 30 medical colleges… The state has two AIIMS while a research centre for Japanese encephalitis has also been constructed. The BJP government has built 10 new universities, opened 77 new colleges. Our government has also reconstructed and redeveloped 1.40 lakh colleges across Uttar Pradesh.”
As reported by ThePrint Tuesday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is also pulling out all stops in UP to ensure that Yogi Adityanath gets a second term in office.
If the BJP emerges victorious on 10 March when the election results are out, Adityanath will become the only CM of India’s largest state who will get a renewed mandate after serving a full five-year-term in office.
Shah said in the interview that BJP’s strength has improved because of PM Narendra Modi and the works done by the Yogi government in the last five years, which have given “many more advantages to the BJP”.
Asked about his remark last October that if people wanted Modi to return as PM in 2024, they should ensure Yogi wins in 2022, Shah said he didn’t say that. “What I said was the route to Delhi is via Lucknow. Since Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats in the Lok Sabha, it’s very important for the BJP to be in power in Uttar Pradesh to return to power in 2024… If anyone wants to form a government with full majority at the Centre, it cannot be without Uttar Pradesh’s mandate,” he said.
Yogi has led exemplary life, Shah says
Praising the Yogi Adityanath government for improving the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, the Union home minister said “Yogi Adityanath has led an exemplary life and he has done great work on law and order”.
“It has improved so well in Uttar Pradesh and it has become an election issue. There is an impressive improvement: 30-70 per cent drop in cases of robbery, dacoity, rape, etc. The state never had such good roads — Ghaziabad to Ganga, Gorakhpur to Agra, every region in the state is connected to an expressway. After 22 years, the state has started getting electricity for more than 12 hours,” Shah said.
He also refuted the allegations about the disconnect between the UP government and party organisation in the state and said it is “not a difference of opinion, but an illusion”. The objective was to stop the criminalisation of politics and politicisation of bureaucracy, he said.
On the prolonging of the farmers’ protests that got over only towards the end of 2021, Shah said the decision was late as there were “some issues with the farmers’ organisations”. “If 40 people come together to take a decision, the process takes time. If there was a smaller team, it would have been easy,” he said.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)