New Delhi: After his strategy bore rich dividends in the in the General Elections last year, the Delhi Assembly polls 2015 are being seen as the next big assignment for Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah. But the man recognised as the 'Chanakya' of BJP says he hasn't taken any election lightly and his mantra remains 'maximum seats with maximum margin.'
In an exclusive interview with Zee News Editor - Sudhir Chaudhary, Shah spelt out BJP's strategy for the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. When asked about how important were these elections for the BJP, Shah said, "In electoral politics, we never take any election lightly. We're assured of two-thirds majority in Delhi."
When asked if the BJP had specially pushed its entire machinery and senior leadership for poll campaigns in Delhi, Shah replied in the negative, and said, "In every election — be it Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Haryana or even Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls to a large extent — senior party leaders were involved in campaigning. Simply winning the election is not the point, two-thirds majority and perfect mandate is the target."
Opposition has questioned BJP's move to 'parachute' Kiran Bedi into its ranks ahead of the polls, but the party chief said that he does not consider it a one-off event. "I do not see this as an isolated case. BJP has given opportunities to many who have established track-records in their fields like Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Chetan Chauhan, BC Khanduri, Navjot Singh Sidhu, etc. Kiran Bedi's image of someone adept at fighting crime and corruption will be beneficial for the party," he said.
Detractors have also interpreted the anointment of Kiran Bedi as BJP's candidate for Delhi chief minister's post as a hint of party's desperation. The BJP chief said that he thinks otherwise, and said Bedi's 40-year-old association with Delhi would be beneficial for the party. He added, "The strategy for every election is devised separately. It is not that the BJP has never announced the names of chief ministerial candidates before the polls. In Rajasthan – BJP had announced Vasundhara Raje as CM candidate beforehand, similarly for Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh, Manohar Parrikar in Goa and Modi ji in Gujarat."
Shah, however, reiterated that the BJP was still fighting under PM Narendra Modi's leadership and the people of Delhi had shown their liking for an established leader like him.
Shah tore into former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's allegations on the BJP and compared the AAP with the propaganda machinery of Adolf Hitler's minister Joseph Goebbels. Shah spelt out the inconsistencies in Kejriwal's actions so far, and said, "He quit his post as an IRS officer. He formed an NGO - then abandoned that too. He joined Anna Hazare's movement and then deserted him. He became Delhi CM, then quit in 49 days. He went to Varanasi and never returned after May 16 results. This time again we will see a different move after the polls."
He further attacked the Aam Aadmi Party over the contradictions in their words and actions, and averred, "They said they would never take Congress' support – then formed government with their its help. Kejriwal said that the AAP government would file an FIR against Sheila Dikshit in the CWG scam, but went back on his words after taking Congress' support. Kejriwal first refused to take government residence, cars and then took them. They stopped conducting 'Lok Durbars'. Neither were contract labourers made permanent, as per their promise."
"In 2013 polls, the AAP was new, and people were not aware of it and its leadership. But the party and its leaders stand exposed today," he added.
Hitting back at AAP's allegations that the BJP had purposely not invited Kejriwal to the Republic Day parade, Shah said, "Those that opposed VIP culture shouldn't have yearned for a VIP pass to the parade. One who considers himself an 'aam aadmi' could have witnessed the parade sitting with the common man."