- Amit Shah, Smriti Irani are contesting Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat
- BJP has majority in Gujarat assembly, likely to win 2 of the 3 seats
- Congress has fielded Ahmed Patel for the August 8 elections
Mr Shah was answering questions in Lucknow from reporters on speculation that he could quit his party post when he debuts in Parliament next month. Amit Shah is contesting Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat to be held on August 8. With the BJP's big strength in the Gujarat assembly, Mr Shah is assured of an easy win.
"I have the responsibility of being the party president. I am happy, and I am working wholeheartedly. You people (media) please do not push," Mr Shah said. The BJP will easily win two of three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat for which elections will be held, and it has renominated union minister Smriti Irani for another term in the Upper House of Parliament from the second seat.
For the third it has fielded a former local Congress leader, who joined the BJP last week, to challenge Congress A lister Ahmad Patel, who is political secretary to party president Sonia Gandhi.
In the last few days six Congress MLAs have resigned and any desertion can jeopardise Ahmed Patel's election. The Congress has flown 40 of its Gujarat legislators to Bengaluru in Karnatka, where they have been sequestered at a resort to prevent what the party has called "poaching" of its MLAs by the BJP.
"It can be understood if they speak about Gujarat. But why are they (Congress MLAs) being kept in locked rooms in Bengaluru...you must understand that," Amit Shah said today.
Mr Shah, who arrived in Uttar Pradesh on a three-day visit on Saturday, was confident that the BJP will return to power stronger in the 2019 national election. "The BJP will romp home victorious with a bigger strength than 2014 on the basis of its development and good governance of the Modi government, as well as the 13 state governments of the party in the country," he said.
The BJP chief said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the "undisputed most popular PM" of the country and that his party's government had "succeeded in ending the politics of family, caste and appeasement in the country".
The previous Manmohan Singh-led government of the Congress had suffered from "policy paralysis", Mr Shah said, and added that, "Every minister assumed himself to be the PM, and no one considered hi m as the PM."
After Mr Shah left, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called a meeting of his ministers to pass on the instructions left by the BJP chief. The Chief Minister said they should work with the understanding that the Narendra Modi government will be in power not just for 5 years, but 25 years and they should take a long-term view.