'Lotus will bloom again in Gorakhpur'
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Monday expressed confidence that the BJP would sweep the March 11 bypolls to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats.
The bypolls were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats respectively, following their election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
"The lotus (BJP's poll symbol) will bloom in both the seats. I have no doubt about this. The very fact that people are talking mostly about the BJP's winning margin is itself an indicator that the party is going to win.
"You can be rest assured that we are going to improve our margin in both the seats," Maurya said on Monday.
Taking a jibe at the opposition, he said, "As soon as the bye-elections were announced, the opposition parties started discussing the victory margin. This is a clear indication that the lotus will bloom in Gorakhpur and Phulpur."
The deputy chief minister, a former president of the state BJP, said as far as the vote-share was concerned, "60 per cent is ours and the rest is for the others to share".
On whether he wanted one of his family members to contest from Phulpur, Maurya said, "Party workers, owing to their affection towards me, floated the idea that someone from my family should contest the bypolls.
"However, I am a kaaryakarta-waadi (workers-centric) person, and not a parivaar-waadi (believer in dynastic politics). I am a member of the BJP's big family."
Referring to the BJP's winning show in the 2014 general election and 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, he expressed confidence that the "lotus will bloom in 2018 (bypolls) and it will lay a strong foundation for the 2019 Lok Sabha election". The bye-elections are expected to witness a triangular contest between the ruling BJP, the SP and the Congress.
The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel respectively.