UP deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya, who has been travelling in West Bengal for campaigning along with senior Union ministers, says BJP will never forget the wounds and scars left on its workers during the violence unleashed by Trinamool Congress and the fight is to restore pride for every community including Matuas. He spoke to Rohan Dua. Excerpts:
Q. Along with several Union ministers like Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Sanjiv Balyan and Arjun Munda, you have been handed a key role for West Bengal. Is it because of your caste factor like in UP or otherwise?
A. Party gives each one of us some responsibility from time to time. There are 35 assembly constituencies which I am looking after for strengthening my party’s canvassing. My party BJP and PM Narendra Modi have always batted for sabka saath sabka vikas. It’s not about any caste. I am glad I could contribute to the party’s success in 2017 when I was BJP state president under the stewardship of Amit Shahji then. I am hopeful that we will be able to bring positive results in more than 25 seats easily.
Q. But the BJP has put the spotlight on Matua community which comprises 30 million people across West Bengal and influences more than 80 seats?
A. It’s a myth that just because they are from the SC community and BJP is eyeing a votebank in them. Most of the Matuas came and settled in West Bengal after facing atrocities elsewhere but neither Congress, nor Left or TMC attended to their demands all these years. Now that we have decided to address their grievances and find them representation, other parties are looking to hear them too. Why didn’t any other PM or leader ever decide to give respect to the sacred shrine of Matuas in Orakandi? Didi has only openly supported infiltrators and illegal immigrants.
Q.TMC has accused the BJP of wielding central agencies such as ED and CBI on its leaders ahead of polls.
A. Similar accusations were made during UP elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well. The probes in most of the cases have been going on for years. We also know how TMC siphoned off money from Cyclone Amphan funds instead of distributing it among people. TMC is scared of future investigations.
Q. Do you agree BJP’s direct fight is against regional parties in most states like that against SP and BSP in 2017 and 2019 in UP.
A. What can be said of Congress when it is fighting the Left in Kerala and joined hands with the same Left parties in West Bengal?
Q. TMC has said BJP could not find suitable candidates and instead roped in its central leaders like Babul Supriyo.
A. Isn’t that a proud moment that in BJP, which is a parivar, we can give any responsibility to anyone in state and Centre. We want to fight but TMC is unleashing violence on our party members and leaders like JP Nadda. We are not going to get cowed down and will avenge killings of our workers.