With Lok Sabha election around the corner, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi spoke exclusively to Republic TV about a plethora of issues regarding the political breeze in the Nation. When Republic TV asked him about Former Samajwadi Party MP from Gorakhpur, Praveen Kumar Nishad joining BJP, the Chief Minister asserted that they will win 2019 elections.
Aishwarya Kapoor Republic TV: Nishad joined your party. Last time in Gorakhpur, he very confidently said that he went in the yogi's turf. You also made the statement that Gorakhpur is yogi and yogi is Gorakhpur. These were your words. Then when he went to Gorakhpur and defeated BJP it was said that Yogi Adityanath is afraid of you Nishad. And now the Congress is saying this alliance is made out of fear.
CM Yogi Adityanath: See, we were never afraid in the past, neither in the present. Bjp won Gorakhpur in 2014 and will win again in 2019. BJP will definitely win.
When asked to comment on Rahul Gandhi's statement that 'Yogi only know how to divide Hindus and Muslims', the chief MInister replied:
"See, we are fighting elections for development, good governance, and nationalism. Nationalism is the requirement of this country. Before coming in power or after coming in power we never said that Muslims have the first right on the country's resources. We talked about the unity and development of all. Prime minister said this in 2013 and saying the same in 2019. But we should have asked to congress that muslims have the first right on this country's resources, these were the words of Congress, said by one of their political leaders. Yesterday in Kerela, Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination from which Lok Sabha seat, which party's flags are waving with them. What does that prove? These people are hypocrites, you can't hope anything from them".
Earlier, hours after the Samajwadi Party MP from Gorakhpur Praveen Kumar Nishad joined the BJP on Thursday, SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav termed it as a 'ghaatey ka sauda' (loss-making deal) for the saffron party and also alleged that money changed hands.
Akhilesh Yadav said that in the by-poll held last year, the people of Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency had voted for the SP-BSP alliance and not for Praveen Nishad.
"This is BJP's loss-making deal as people had voted for the grand alliance (SP-BSP) and not the parliamentarian (Praveen Nishad)," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted in Hindi.
The SP chief insinuated that Nishad switched over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in return for a bag of 'prasad' (cash) from the 'mathadheesh' (head priest) of Gorakhnath temple, referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
He, however, did not substantiate the charge.
"Will the Gorakhpur MP who got a bag full of 'prasad' from the mathadheesh distribute it among others or devour it alone?," asked Akhilesh Yadav using his hashtag #VikasPoochhRahaHai in his tweets to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his development claims.