Development not Ram Mandir will be BJP's agenda in UP Assembly Elections 2017: Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu has said party will fight election in Uttar Pradesh on developmental agenda and not on issues like Ram Temple and ruled out projecting any chief ministerial face.

The "real alignment" is in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who he described as the "mascot of development" and a "bigger face". The Information and Broadcasting Minister said the anti-black money campaign has attracted people, specially from the lower sections of the society, towards BJP and it will further get momentum with the "fruits" of the ban getting "visible".

"We have reports coming from UP, newer sections and people who were keeping a distance from BJP earlier, particularly sections of the lowest strata, they are all moving towards BJP after the demonetisation or remonetisation.

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI file image

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI file image

"This will I am sure gain further momentum as the fruits of anti-corruption vaccine administered by Modi become visible," he told PTI.

To a query about the party's strategy in Uttar Pradesh, he said, "There is no separate strategy for UP. You only have to convince people that they have seen SP, BSP and Congress for long. They have voted for Modi in the Lok Sabha overwhelmingly, and seeing the results at the Centre.

But the fruits of development are not reaching UP, its villages, because of the delivery system of Uttar Pradesh is totally corrupt or incapable of delivery. So elect BJP, so that UP also can develop. That is the development agenda," he said.

Asked whether the Ram Temple issue would be part of BJP's poll plank, an issue which earlier had played a key factor in Uttar Pradesh polls, Naidu said the subject is "dear" to the party but it will not be part of "electoral" strategy.

"Temple was never an election issue. It is an aspiration of the people. But you (media) people ask questions ...and then we people respond.Temple construction is very dear to us. But that is not the electoral issue. Issue is development, development, development," he asserted. Asked about talk of rivals coming together to take on BJP, he said, "Mulayam Singh and son are falling apart, the son is coming close to the Congress party.....Let us see how it goes. But real realignment (is that) people are going with Modi...people of UP are looking to PM as mascot of development."

To a query on the party's chief ministerial face party in Uttar Pradesh, he said, "We have a bigger face. We succeeded in Maharashtra without announcing a CM candidate, we seceded in Haryana, without a CM candidate. We seceded in Jharkhand without a CM candidate.

"We have found that people are willing to vote for development and vote for party. The strategy differs from state to state. But in UP, we have decided not to project anybody as CM candidate."

Alleging that Uttar Pradesh is not coming forthright in participating in the Centre's development schemes, he cited the state's lack of enthusiasm in sending proposals under his ministry's housing scheme for urban poor.

After Centre wrote 14 letters asking the Uttar Pradesh government to send proposals under the housing mission,new proposals have been received. "Without standing in the path of the state", the Centre sanctioned whatever was asked for, Naidu said.

"If I go to UP and tell this story, people will be up in arms against the ruling party. I never made it an election issue. But now I have to tell people that if you have a BJP government at the Centre and then have the same government in the state, then you will get benefit directly," he said.

Striking a contrast between the NDA and UPA regimes, he said the previous Congress-led government could approve only 12.50 lakh houses in the 10 year period, while BJP government approved 14.70 lakh houses within a year of launch the scheme. "UP is a big state. Housing for All scheme has no meaning if it is not there in UP," he said, adding state's participation is important in the mission as houses the Central government sanction "requires land" which is a state subject.

Stating that Delhi is the other state that has not shown in the scheme, he listed out names of various states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, that have shown interest in the housing scheme.


Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 15:25 PM

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