Bypoll defeat no referendum: Yogi
Lucknow: The BJP's defeat in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur cannot be seen as a referendum on the policies and programmes of the party's government at the Centre or in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Sunday.
He, however, added that the BJP had learnt a "lesson" (from the outcome) and said he was confident the party would perform better in future polls, especially the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "I don't see the results as a referendum," he said at a media event here.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) combine had not made any dent in the saffron party's vote bank.
"Our vote bank is intact," he said.
Stressing that the SP-BSP understanding was not an alliance but a "political deal", he said everyone knew these two parties had "damaged" the state in the past. During the campaign for the bypolls, the results of which were announced last week, the chief minister had launched a frontal attack on the two parties, referring to them as a "snake and mole".
"Whatever I have said is right, and I still stick to it," Adityanath, who is also a mahant of the Gorakhnath Temple, said, when a media-person asked about his choice of words.
The CM also described the rival parties as private limited companies. "The SP and the BSP are private limited companies, one-man shows and undemocratic, as these are family-based organisations," he said. To another question, he said Congress president Rahul Gandhi might ride the "elephant" (BSP's election symbol) next time after leaving the "cycle" (SP's election symbol). In the last Assembly elections, the Congress was in an alliance with the SP. Asked what led to the BJP's defeat in Phulpur and its bastion Gorakhpur in the by-elections, he said, "It was due to over-confidence and complacency in candidates, who did not toil hard thinking that they would get the seat on a platter".
Adityanath was also asked if he'd talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah after the BJP's defeat.
"Yes I did," he replied, but did not divulge details when asked what transpired in the talks. "Family matters cannot be shared in public," he said.
When a media representative pointed out that the entire state was his family, he smiled and said, "Don't forget that there are neighbours too."
Adityanath, who completes one year in office tomorrow as the UP chief minister, claimed he had changed the image of the state from one of anarchy and chaos to that of all-round development and security.
Rejecting the charge that the crime graph had increased during his tenure, he said, "This is society, but see the difference between pre and post 2017."
"Our government has accelerated the speed of development, provided power to every nook and corner of the state and ensured security to the people," he said.