Exuding confidence that the voters of Uttar Pradesh would deliver their "final strike" in favour of the BJP in the Lok Sabha election, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said Wednesday the party would win more than 300 seats across the country.
"Not only the voters of Amethi and Rae Bareli (the Congress bastions in UP), but voters of Uttar Pradesh will deliver a their final strike in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in all the 80 Lok Sabha seats and give an overwhelming majority to him," Mr Maurya told PTI in an interview in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
The main issues in this election will be development, nationalism, eradicating poverty, wiping out corruption, ending terrorism and making the country number one in the world, the BJP leader said in the interview.
Describing the alliance stitched by the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal as "opportunistic", Mr Maurya said: "It is an alliance with vested interests. It has become redundant for the people as the public has made up its mind that instead of voting for the SP and the BSP on caste lines, it will vote for the BJP, which is toeing the line of development, nationalism and working to eradicate terrorism."
The deputy chief minister also made light of the formal entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in politics. "I don't feel that her entry into UP's electoral politics will have any impact on us. She was earlier also a leader of Congress."
"I am of the opinion that SP, BSP and Congress are all one entity. If not, then the SP and BSP should clarify that as to why have they left two seats for Congress in Amethi and Rae Bareli. And the Congress, on its part, should tell why it has taken their (SP and BSP) support in these two seats," Mr Maurya said.
Asked whether the issue of construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya had taken a backseat as a poll issue, Mr Maurya asserted: "There is no question of it being on the back foot. As for the BJP, the issue of Ram temple is not an electoral one, but is a matter of faith and devotion. We do not make issues pertaining to our faith and devotion poll-related."