Lucknow: A day before before vote count in Uttar Pradesh, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister Rajnath Singh Monday admitted that his party may not be in a position to form the next government in the state.
Singh said while the BJP was set to improve its tally in the 403-member assembly, it would fall short of coming to power.
"The results would be bright for the BJP and there is no doubt about it, we fought to get a majority, but yes, candidly speaking, it appears to me that we might fall short of the numbers required to form the government," Singh told reporters on the phone.
Asked about the possibility of the BJP aligning with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or the Samajwadi Party to form a coalition government, Rajnath Singh ruled out such conjectures.
"The BJP has all along maintained that there would be no truck with any party, neither before the polls, nor after the elections."
On the wisdom of allowing tainted BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha's to enter the BJP fold, Singh said, "I can safely say that the entry of Kushwaha did not help us."
As for possible damage, he said that would be assessed after the poll outcome and a threadbare analysis.
Asked if corruption had been a major issue in the Uttar Pradesh polls, he said it was important but not a major one.
Singh has been at the forefront of farmer politics in the state, be it the Kisan Panchayats he held during his rule or the Bhatta-Parsaul and Tappal farmer agitations where he actively participated. But he rued that while farmers had leaned towards the BJP, they seemed to have voted on caste lines.
Asked whether the surge in the poll percentage in the state - it was the highest ever in these seven-phased assembly polls that concluded March 3 - had benefitted the BJP, he said it was a "definite booster for the party's prospects in UP".
He attributed the successful voter turnout to campaigns undertaken by social activist Anna Hazare, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and yoga guru Baba Ramdev.