Narendra Modi`s aide Amit Shah says Ram Temple not BJP`s 2014 poll agenda

Following his footprint, Amit Shah, supposedly the right-hand man of the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, maintained a distance from the Ram temple issue during an interview to a TV news channel.

Updated: Oct 22, 2013, 00:46 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta

New Delhi: Following in his footprint, Amit Shah, said to be the right-hand man of Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, maintained a distance from the Ram temple issue.

In an interview given to a TV news channel on Monday, while making it absolutely clear that Ram Mandir was not an election issue for the BJP, Amit Shah said, "We will focus on politics of development not temple."
When asked about the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, Shah said that all charges against him were false. "Naming me in Ishrat chargesheet will boomerang on Congress," he said.

"Not scared on CBI`s chargesheet on Ishrat case. If they charge me, others senior leaders will continue BJP`s Mission UP," Shah added.

In his first public defence of charges against him in the alleged encounter case, Shah said, "Of 1500 encounters that happened across India, why is CBI investigating only Gujarat encounters?"

Amit Shah, Narendra Modi’s point man in Uttar Pradesh, also said, "OBC`s in UP feel that other parties favouring Muslims at their expense. This will help rally OBC`s in favour of Narendra Modi."

Knowing that the road to Delhi goes through Uttar Pradesh, Shah in an attempt to woo the masses in the state said, "Uttar Pradesh is heading towards complete communalisation. Polarisation is not because of actions of BJP but because of the appeasement policy of Samajwadi Party`s government."
He added further that Muslims were the happiest in Gujarat and OBCs had prospered in the state under BJP`s rule.

Making a pitch for BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi, Shah said that OBCs were miffed at the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in UP.

Shah, who is also the BJP’s general secretary, said the SP government was falsely implicating BJP legislators in the Muzaffarnagar riots case.

"SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had himself angered Hindus by releasing from jail people charged with terror," he added.

While reiterating Modi`s views, Shah said that the Bharatiya Janata Party would emerge as the single-largest party in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 general elections.

Further while commenting on the skull cap issue, Shah clarified that the Bharatiya Janata Party had never asked Muslims to come to Modi`s rallies wearing skull caps or sherwanis.

"Individual leaders may have done so," Shah added.