BJP President Amit Shah broached a number of key topics in conversation with Republic TV 's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami at Day 2 of Republic Summit on Wednesday. Starting off by talking about Assembly polls, Amit Shah further touched upon the controversial Ram Mandir issue. Shah persisted that the entire nation wants the temple to be built.
He said, "Not only BJP but all of India wants a grand temple to be built in Ayodhya. Government's counsel had sought that the matter be brought expeditiously. Congress lawyer Kapil Sibal said to bring it after 2019. Supreme Court should rule on it quickly. It is important to a lot of people. I believe that in January the hearings will begin. If heard day-to-day it can be done in 10 days. Crores of people believe that the Mandir should be built there".
Amit Shah further spoke about the possibility of an alliance between BJP-Shiv Sena in 2019.
"The reality is that Shiv Sena is a part of our government even today. Their candidates contest in every election. They did it in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh and not just in this election but before 2014 also. Running a campaign is a different thing but their candidates stood for elections. Till both the parties come to a conclusion, it's is wrong to comment on the matter publicly. I believe that in 2019 election, Shiv Sena will support us. The discussions are on."
When asked about the Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya and the 'Mandir ultimatum' by the Sainiks, Mr Shah said:
"In the matter of Ayodhya, they are not challenging us. They are demanding a temple and we also believe that a temple should be constructed. Where is the challenge? There is no dispute."
Mr Shah also analysed the results of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh--the three states where the BJP could not gain a majority to form the government. When asked about--what is considered to be one of the great political achievement of Amit Shah-- to swing anti-incumbency, he answered:
"We have lost because of anti-incumbency is not a major reason. I will give you an example of Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the difference is of 7 seats and we lost our 7 seats by just 3500 votes. Now, 3500 votes are not the measure to decide the victory or loss of such a huge state. I am not denying or loss. Our government has lost and their government has taken over. But this is an indicator to determine that BJP has come down. I have done analyses of many results. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, you can say that Congress lost. In Uttrakhand, Congress lost. Even in Rajasthan, there is only a difference of approximately one lakh votes. However, a loss is a loss and we accept people's mandate. We will also reflect upon the loopholes".
BJP party president Amit Shah set the political agenda for the 2019 elections while speaking to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Day 2 of the Republic Summit in Mumbai on Wednesday, answering on issues ranging from BJP's footprint and the reach of its government's schemes to answering questions on whether there a 'super-NDA' possible before 2019 as a pre-poll alliance?