Brushing aside claims of casteism and bias in the ruling BJP-led Uttar Pradesh Government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that he was confident in the development policies he had implemented for UP and in return of the BJP to power following upcoming assembly polls in the state.
"I do politics of development, provide security, good governance. How can this be divisive politics? Instead, giving tickets to professional criminals and rioters, [members of] mafias, is, in fact, divisive politics. Both the SP and the BSP are vying with each other to field criminals. The Congress is also not lagging behind," he said in an interview to the Hindustan Times.
The Chief Minister also brushed aside allegations of casteism and favouritism to the upper caste Rajputs, stating that he was not ashamed to be a Rajput nor was it a crime to have caste pride but that it had never affected his governance.
"I am not hurt. It is not a crime to be born in a Rajput family....that does not mean my government has discriminated against other castes and communities. I ask my opponents: How many Rajputs got houses out of 43 lakhs that were constructed for the poor? Not even 1% or perhaps not even 1,000," he claimed.
"Similarly, 21.6 million toilets were made, food grains were disbursed to 150 million poor people. They were Dalits, OBCs and minorities. Those who accuse me of pursuing casteist politics, in fact, promote their own family as and when they get an opportunity. They don't even serve their own caste," he said.
He questioned the 'hypocrisy' of defecting BJP ministers like Swami Prasad Maurya, who had joined the SP alleging that the UP government had not done enough for backward castes, asking whether the SP and BSP parties had fielded candidates who were representative of social justice.
"They were a part of the government which did not discriminate in the implementation of welfare schemes. We respect all. But everyone is free to take independent decisions and leave, or stay. We don't stop anyone. Those who incite riots and acquire government or public property under government protection don't do [anything for] social justice," Yogi asserted. "Aren't people joining the BJP also? Have RPN Singh, Hari Om Yadav and Aparna Yadav not joined the BJP? Why is Maurya running away from the seat now. Aren't they all backward faces?"
The BJP was not like its critics who played dynasty politics and put its family members in power, the UP CM said during the interview. When questioned over the lack of Muslim tickets for upcoming polls, he stated that Muslims did not have enough faith in the BJP ideology and that should a proper candidate come forward, the party would give them tickets too.
"In part two, when we will have a full five-year tenure, Uttar Pradesh will figure as the most developed state, emerge as a centre of education and health," he said.