Kolkata, Sep 20 :
Union minister Kalraj Mishra Saturday asserted that the BJP’s reversal of fortunes in the assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat should not be construed as an indication of the party losing ground.
“By-poll results should not be taken as a sample because the dynamics are different from the Lok Sabha elections. By-polls are fought on state issues where state leaders matter.
“So it would be wrong to assess the party’s or (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s popularity on the basis of these results,” Mishra told mediapersons on the sidelines of a programme here.
The BJP’s ally Shiv Sena had described the Sep 13 by-poll results as “unexpected shock and surprise”, while West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress quipped that the Narendra Modi magic has faded away.
“We have won a seat in Bengal, does that mean (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee has lost? The dynamics are different and it is wrong to assess that the BJP has lost popularity just on the basis of these results,” said the BJP leader.
Claiming that its hold at the grassroots level was still strong, Mishra asserted that the party will bounce back, including in Uttar Pradesh where it won only three of the 11 assembly seats that went to the polls.
“Obviously we have lost a few seats but that doesn’t mean we have lost ground. There might be reasons for our defeat, but our grasp at grassroots is still strong and we will certainly bounce back. This is not a matter of concern for us,” said Mishra.
Mishra, the union minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), also refused to admit that the ‘love jihad’ theory was an issue raised by his party during the UP by-poll.
“It was not an issue which we raised…rather it’s some people who ostensibly made it to be our issue,” added Mishra.
“Love jihad” is a term used by Hindu hardliners for Muslim youth marrying Hindu girls with the intention of converting them to Islam.