Amit Shah defends Yogi despite Gorakhpur defeat

National | March 18, 2018, 2:37 a.m.

New Delhi, March 18:  Hailing the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday said the bypoll results were not a referendum on the party's dispensation in the state.

In his first reaction after the party lost the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-elections, Shah said that UP government was one of the best among the BJP dispensations in the states.

"The party has taken it (the bypoll outcome) seriously and will minutely analyse the results of these polls," Shah said in an interview to Zee TV.

He said there could be many reasons for the BJP's defeat in the bypolls.

The voting percentage was low and at the same time, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) came together, he said.

On the SP-BSP understanding in UP, Shah said that the BJP was confident that it would be able to get more than 50 per cent votes in the the state in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

He said the understanding between the SP and the BSP was for their survival and it proved that the BJP is and will remain the only dominant political force in the state.

Shah said his party is ready to take on a SP-BSP alliance if it happens in 2019.

"Yogi's government is doing a wonderful job in the state. It is one of the best BJP governments we have. I don't think the by-election results are a referendum on Yogi's government," Shah said.

Mocking the Congress over celebrating the bypoll results, Shah said it was hilarious that the party, whose candidates lost deposit on both the seats, was in a jubilant mood.

Earlier this week, the BJP lost both Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats, to SP candidates backed by the BSP.

Chief Minister Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had won the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats respectively in 2014, but later resigned after the BJP won the state Assembly elections.

Shah also lashed out at the opposition parties for supporting the YSR Congress and the TDP, who are pushing for a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in Parliament, and said that the BJP was willing to discuss the matter only if the House was in order.

"We are willing to take up discussion on the issue but the House is not in order. The opposition is not allowing the House to function. It clearly shows that the opposition knows it cannot win," Shah said.

Taking a dig at the attempts of the Congress to put together an alliance of all like-minded parties against the BJP, he welcomed the move, saying it was a "good signal" for the party.

"If it happens it will be a good signal for us. It shows that all parties have to come together to take on the Modi government," the BJP chief said.

He also said that the NDA was growing everyday and because of the pro-people policies of the Modi government, the party would come back to power in 2019 with more seats than it had won in 2014.

PTI

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