The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to resolve its confusion on who would be its chief ministerial candidate for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and whether at all it should announce one. But the aggression in Prime Ministerand party chief Amit Shah’s speeches at a public rally here underscored the importance of a good performance by the BJP in the UP elections, slated for early 2017, if Modi is to return as prime minister in 2019.
Both Modi and Shah appealed to the people of UP to reject the nepotism, casteism and lawlessness wrought by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, who were hand-in-glove in corruption. Modi credited the people of UP for enabling BJP to win a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha elections and that the state has given India several of its prime ministers. BJP, along with its ally Apna Dal, won 73 of UP’s 80 seats in 2014. Shah was more direct. “The road to Delhi goes via Lucknow. BJP forming a government in the state in 2017 will pave Modi’s way to Delhi in 2019,” he said.
While Modi stayed away from the more contentious issues and promised development to the youth of the state and to its farmers, Shah raked up alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana in western UP.