New Delhi: The BJP will contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls on its own, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, who played a significant role in the party's stunning performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the state, said. As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shifts focus to the assembly polls in UP due next year after its resounding victory in Assam, Sharma said party leaders are considering the elections in the politically crucial state as a "special task that has to be accomplished".
Sharma, who was rewarded with a ministerial berth for his hard work in the Lok Sabha polls in UP, said BJP's focus during the campaign will be on development, good governance and rooting out corruption and not the Ram temple.
He said the party would not like to make Ram temple a political issue. "Construction of Ram temple is the wish of millions of people as a matter of faith. We do not want to make it a political issue. It is not on our political agenda. But people of this country want a Ram temple at Ayodhya. We want to do it (construct the temple) either by consensus mode or verdict by court of law," said Sharma.
He exuded confidence that BJP will get over 265 out of 403 seats. "We will not have any alliance with any of the parties, whether it is Lok Dal (INLD) or any other party. No pre-poll, no post-poll alliance of any sort," Sharma said when asked whether BJP will have any alliance with any party for the assembly polls. In a spectacular performance, the BJP had won a whopping 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 polls, propelling the party to attain a majority in the House on its own for the first time.
The party had won just 47 seats in the 2012 assembly polls. BJP's vote share was 42 per cent in the last Lok Sabha polls as against 15 per cent in the assembly polls in 2012. Asked whether he was in the race for Chief Ministership if the party was voted to power in the key cow belt state, the first-time MP from Noida said he was ready to take any responsibility decided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party leadership.
"The prime minister is like our guardian. He gave me responsibility of three ministries. I have been trying to do justice with them. I would love to take whatever responsibility he or my party leadership or my parliamentary board gives me," the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Tourism and Culture said.
The union minister said BJP leadership will take a decision on whether to project a chief ministerial face in the polls. He said the party has been working for the assembly polls for quite sometime as it would be a very crucial election, adding all party leaders will take the UP election as a "special task".
Attacking the state's Samajwadi Party government, he said people of Uttar Pradesh will punish them for "widespread corruption and lawlessness". He called previous Mayawati government "an icon of corruption" and said people will not vote for her party as well. "We will go to people highlighting our achievements at the Centre. We have been able to provide good governance, we have been able to do development, ensure transparency. We could bring back the faith of people in the political system, in governance system. We will highlight it," he said.
Sharma said BJP wants to make UP a fast developing state. "People of UP know that like two wheels of a cart, one wheel (Modi government) is at the Centre now which is strong. They want to see that the other wheel in UP also becomes strong. They want to see that in both places there are BJP governments to ensure growth of UP which has been suffering for long," he said.