Had it not been for the master strategies that Amit Shah unleashed in Uttar Pradesh for the BJP, the exit polls may have fallen short of projecting Narendra Modi as India's next prime minister.
In a no-holds barred chat with CNN-IBN's editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Modi's most trusted lieutenant gave some insight on how a near extinct BJP was revived in the state that sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha to result in fireworks.
"We will get 55 seats in Uttar Pradesh. I can say that with confidence because I don't sit in a studio but among the people. In fact, after a long time, the Uttar Pradesh BJP came out to the streets to fight the polls spiritedly," Shah told CNN-IBN when asked about his expectations from Uttar Pradesh.
Unveiling how the BJP approached the polls in the state, he said, "We had to reorganise the entire BJP state organisation. Uttar Pradesh was divided into eight zones and in each of them Modi addressed rallies. We tried to ensure that all villages falling in these zones participate in the rallies. We were 70 percent successful in our effort. We tried to connect Modi directly with the people. Our video vans did a tremendous job in spreading the message of Modi and in telling them Modi is coming to solve their problems," he said.
The effort was quiet and massive involving a big force of highly educated NRIs, most of who have passed out from IITs and IIMs.
"This young force was very dedicated and they sacrificed a lot to project Modi's image in a manner we wanted," Shah said. However, the BJP leader denied the youth brigade was miserably paid at Rs 800 a month. "This was a kind of stipend for the expenses they may have incurred in the process. They did it for their own goodwill for Modi," he said.
Not agreeing that BJP was responsible for the polarisation of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Shah said, "No member of the BJP was involved in communal politics. The polls were fought as per constitutional procedures and as per a political strategy."
As the counting of votes on 16 May fast approaches and promises to be a real humdinger, the BJP fears no change of fortune at the last moment.
"We did not have any fear of the tide turning against us before the polls and not even now. There is no plan B for us. The NDA will get between 290-305 seats," said the BJP national general secretary in no uncertain terms.
When asked about his uncharacteristically soft demeanour on camera, in stark contrast to his fiery speeches during political rallies, Shah said, "I try to convince the voters through assertion about how Narendra Modi can change their lives and what difference BJP can bring about to the country."
However, the BJP leader did not spell out if he would participate in the Modi government if it assumes power at the Centre after the counting of votes.
"My job is decided by the BJP. I will do what the BJP wants me to do," Shah said.
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Updated Date: May 14, 2014 07:59:24 IST