LUCKNOW : Amid the buzz about his entry into the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, BJP chief Amit Shah denied speculations, claiming he was more than happy being the BJP president. “Please don’t push me into the Union Cabinet. I am the BJP president and am happy with the role,” he said, winding up his three-day trip to Lucknow marked by political rumblings resulting in defections in the SP and BSP.
Shah’s assertion is an indication enough that the BJP plans to go into 2019 Lok Sabha polls under the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination, which party cadre view as an invincible formula to repeat 2014 at the Centre, especially after the scale of the recent mandate in UP and Uttarakhand and developments in Bihar and Gujarat.
“In the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, the BJP will get more seats than it secured in 2014,” he said, adding that the development agenda of the Modi government and successful rule of the BJP in 13 States would help it achieve the goal. Amit Shah will complete his second term as BJP president in 2019. A BJP president is elected for three years and Shah was elected as full-fledged party chief in July 2016. Before that, he completed Rajnath’s term after receiving the baton in July 2014 following the latter’s election to the Lok Sabha from Lucknow and his subsequent elevation as Home Minister. Shah’s statements gain significance if upheavals in Bihar, defections in Gujarat Congress, and the party’s expansion plans in Odisha are kept in the backdrop.
UP felt the tremors even before he landed in Lucknow. There were strong rumours that at least five SP and more than two BSP lawmakers were ready to switch to the saffron fold but the crossovers were stopped at three, at least for now. Though refuted fervidly by the BJP chief, the buzz in the political circles on BJP’s role in orchestrating defections in Gujarat Congress camp and fashioning the split in RJD-JD(U) ruling alliance in Bihar just ahead of Rajya Sabha elections, refuses to die down.