With the country having completed the three phases of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and heading into the fourth phase of elections, BJP president Amit Shah spoke to Republic Media Network's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami on a range of issues, including his own personal electoral contest.
On being asked about contesting his first Lok Sabha election, from the Gandhinagar constituency of his home-state in Gujarat, Amit Shah said:
"See what you are saying (that he is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time) is correct but Gandhinagar is not new. I have been an MLA from this seat many times. I have been a five times MLA from that seat. For years, I have won from this seat with 80 percent of Gandhinagar constituency. So, yes this might be my first Lok Sabha election but its not an issue. Also who is contesting from Gandhinagar is not important because Gandhinagar is a stronghold of the BJP. People of Gandhinagar love BJP and have been with the party since a long time. In every struggle they have been with the BJP. So I am confident. I have full faith that Bhartiya Janta Party will win with a huge margin in Gandhinagar"
Further, when asked to discuss about Uttar Pradesh - the country's most electorally significant state - and his party's current position there, the BJP president said:
"First, let me get this clear that its not about whether I will personally succeed in Uttar Pradesh or not, because I am neither a contender here in the state nor its Chief Minister. Here we (BJP) have a good arrangement. I have travelled all across Uttar Pradesh, am in constant contact with BJP workers and I have had good interaction with Uttar Pradesh's people. After visiting all areas in the state, I can say that our position here will not get diluted."
He went on to speak about how the nature of politics has changed and juxtaposed this with his experience of alliance arithmetic:
"Keep one thing in mind. The days of two netas shaking hands in a drawing room and vote-banks transferring are over. Now voters are not are not 'bandhua majdoor' (bonded labourer) of politicians. Now voters can think. Many governments have operated in Uttar Pradesh on the basis of castes, one party will come and work for one particular caste, another party will come and work for one particular caste and will leave the society in one corner. On the other hand, our party in Uttar Pradesh, the Narendra Modi government and CM Yogi government, have worked only for development irrespective of the caste and community, and by taking everybody together, development has reached at the ground level too. The effect of this will be seen."