New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the loss in Uttar Pradesh by-polls made the BJP realise that “even this can happen” but “it will not happen again”.
The minister’s statement came days after the Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a double jolt as it was trounced in the Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha by-polls for the Gorakhpur and Phulpur and in Bihar’s Araria.
“Ho Gaya, aage Nahin Hoga. Humein pata Chala ki Aisa Bhi ho Sakta Hain (It happened, will not happen again. We realised even this can also happen),” the minister said, addressing the CNN News18 Rising India Summit.
Gorakhpur was held by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for five consecutive terms, while Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was Phulpur’s elected Lok Sabha representative. Commenting on Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the country was rising against the BJP, Rajnath Singh said: “He is our opposition leader and will keep saying things but only time will tell against whom the country is rising.”
On being asked if he harboured the dream of being Prime Minister one day, he said he was not “over-ambitious”.
“I’m not over ambitious. But yes, if one is given the opportunity, they must fulfil it. Our Prime Minister is doing a very good job.”
Asked whether the interference by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the Ram Janmabhoomi issue was right, Rajnath Singh said: “We cannot stop him from mediating in the issue. As far as the government is concerned, the matter is sub-judice.”
Replying to a question if the Jawaharlal Nehru University was creating problem in the internal security, the Minister said he didn’t think so.
“If anyone is misusing the JNU for political gains, it should be checked. If any party is doing politics by politicising any university, it should not be done.”