All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi is trying to become another (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah and has only one agenda another partition of the country, said Subrat Pathak, Lok Sabha member and general secretary of Uttar Pradesh BJP.
In an exclusive interview to IANS, Pathak, Lok Sabha member Kannauj, claimed people at ground formed an alliance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “Aayega toh Yogi hi (only yogi will come),” he said.
Pathak said that earlier leaders, who used to visit Madrasa wearing skull caps, have now become Hindus and have started doing temple-hopping after putting ’tilak’ on their foreheads.
Pathak asked, “If BJP does not raise the issue of Hindutva, then who will do”.”
He claimed that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are fighting for the second position in Uttar Pradesh in upcoming Assembly polls.
Excerpts of the interview:
Q: What are the issues on which the BJP is going to seek votes in next years’ Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh?
A: Our agenda and issues are in the public domain and known to everyone. The BJP doesn’t keep its agenda hidden. We are seeking votes on the issues of development. In the last five years the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has transformed the state on all the parameters of development which were missing in the previous governments of the SP and BSP.
BJP will seek re-election on two key agendas, one development and second restoring cultural identity of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP government is constructing a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, restoring the glory of Kashi through Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. When Mahatma Gandhi visited Kashi for the inauguration of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), he questioned the poor sanitation and condition of the city. Even after Independence, conditions have not improved. The BJP government decided to restore the cultural identity of the city by making ‘bhavya and divya’ (magnificent and divine) Kashi.
In the future we also restore the cultural identity of Mathura. Our government made an international airport in Kushinagar, where Gautam Buddha attained ‘Mahaparinirvana’. While restoring the cultural identity of the state we are remembering both Ram and Buddha.
People have seen our work and we will seek votes for development.
Q: Earlier, deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also said that preparation is on for construction of a grand temple in Mathura and now you are also saying this. So will Mathura be a poll issue in the assembly election?
A: Mathura is not a political issue for the BJP, it is our agenda. Tell me who will stop us from restoring symbols of the Hindu faith. It has nothing to do with elections, construction of temples in Mathura is about faith and belief and we will do it.
Q: Don’t you think such comments from senior leaders will divert the election from development to religion and polarise it?
A: What does polarisation mean? Talking about Hindutva is wrong. In 70 years after post Independence the Muslim population has increased from three crore to 30 crore in country. Almost 27 Hindu population of Pakistan is missing during the same period. Imagine the situation in future in India and the growth of Muslim population.
Why isn’t Hindutva an issue? It is our culture and the oldest one in the world. When all the cultures across the world from Iran to Greece to Egypt have fallen, only ancient Indian culture based on Hindutva has survived the time.
‘Agar chunav me nahi baat karenge tab kab karenge’ (if it is not talked about during the election then when do we?), earlier battles or wars were fought to save culture and religion. Today, ‘election’ is a ‘battle’ and if we do not take Hindutva then who will talk about it.
Earlier leaders who used to visit Madrasa wearing skull caps have now become Hindu and started doing temple hopping by putting tilak on their forehead. We have witnessed ‘roza-iftars’ hosted by the Prime Minister and Chief Minister.
Today, we have a Prime Minister who visits Ayodhya and the ancient temple of pashupatinath, does Rudrabhishek at Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, participates in Ganga Aarti, redevelop Kedarnath.
Q: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi is also making political debut in Uttar Pradesh and he has demanded that NRC, CAA should be repealed. What would you say?
A: In democracy every party has the right to contest elections and he (Owaisi) is trying to make his party national. He is welcomed to contest in Uttar Pradesh.
He is spreading ‘bigotry’ and trying to spread it in Uttar Pradesh. Owaisi is trying to become another Jinnah and has only one agenda, another partition of the country to fulfil his agenda. Our agenda is also clear that we will crush such a divisive agenda and we are doing it.
Q: Do you think repeal of three farm laws will benefit BJP in coming assembly polls”
Pathak: Please understand, it was not a farmers protest. It is a protest by ‘Modi- Virodhi’ (anit Modi) and they will oppose everything from CAA, triple talaq, Ram Temple to Kashi Vishwanath corridor. They have only one agenda: oppose Modi and while opposing Modi they have become an ‘Anti nation’. They used a farmer’s shoulder to show their anti Modi stand.
It was felt that in border state Punjba terror activities is going increase and anti national elements are started joining farmers protest.
The Prime Minister said that it seems some of the farmers are still not convinced by our sincere efforts. We will continue to work in the best interest of farmers and may bring it with improvement.
Q: Does SP-RLD alliance dampen BJP’s chances in Western Uttar Pradesh?
A: Earlier BSP was also with them and they fought together. They will not decide. Janta (people) will decide. They are making an alliance on the table while people on ground have already formed the alliance. All the caste, group and religion have formed alliances with Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yogi. ‘Aayega toh Yogi hi (only yogi will come)’.
Bua-bhatija will have no impact in Uttar Pradesh.
Q: Who will be BJP’s main opposition in Uttar Pradesh?
A: We are not fighting with anyone. The SP and BSP are fighting for the number two position in Uttar Pradesh. We are heading for a big win and an unholy alliance of opposition cannot stop us.
(Shashi Bhushan be reached at email@example.com)