By Vivek Tripathi
Lucknow, April 17 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not see the SP-BJP alliance in the state as a “threat” to it in the Lok Sabha elections as it believes that the works done by the Central government and the persona of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are enough to wipe them out.
In an interview with IANS, state BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said: “We don’t see the alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as a threat (in the Lok Sabha elections). BJP is focussing on the works done by the Modi government and his persona.”
Underlining the works done by the Yogi Adityanath-led state government, Pandey said: “The Yogi government is preparing a base in every section of the society with its works. It is working on a strategy to win the elections on the basis of the work done by the party workers. The party is working on a long-term strategy in the field of public welfare,” he said.
“While others are only bothered about coming to power, the BJP is focussing on villages and working for the upliftment of the poor. Therefore, the grand alliance is neither a challenge, nor a threat,” Pandey said, adding that in the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls, every section of the society endorsed the BJP.
Even the Dalits, who are considered to be BSP supremo Mayawati’s vote bank, have extended their support to the BJP, he said.
On the allegation that Mayawati was only fielding strongmen as candidates, Pandey said: “Mayawati’s BSP is contesting 38 seats, out of which only two tickets have been given to the party cadres while the remaining 32 have gone to industrialists and outsiders. These strongmen were picked only after taking a sufficient amount. It’s unfortunate.
“The BJP and the other parties have maintained a distance with the strongmen, but Mayawati has shown her double face by giving tickets to them. She only cares for wealth, it doesn’t matter if it comes from a criminal or from an industrialist,” said the BJP state chief.
Pandey also attacked Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, saying, “If he wins even a single seat, the SP should feel very fortunate.”
Born and brought up in Gazipur district in Uttar Pradesh, Pandey studied journalism from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and later completed his Ph.D in Hindi from there. During his college days, he was elected General Secretary of the BHU students’ union.
He has a long association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and became an MLA for the first time in 1991. Pandey was appointed a Minister in the Kalyan Singh government after his re-election in 1996.
In 2014, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Chandauli parliamentary constituency. He had also served as the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development for a year between 2016 and 2017.