'Double Engine, Schemes, Delivery': Jitin Prasada Confident of Pilibhit Win, Says 80/80 For BJP in UP

1 month ago

The battle for Pilibhit is going to be an interesting one this Lok Sabha Election 2024 with no Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi in the poll fray. However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jitin Prasada is not worried. “This is about the party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being appreciated,” he said in an interview with News18, days ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

Voting in Pilibhit is set to take place in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 19 while the counting of votes will take place on June 4. Wile BJP has nominated Prasada, the Samajwadi Party has given a ticket to Bhagwat Saran Gangwar on the Pilibhit seat. Speaking to News18, Prasada said that the BJP is confident of winning all 80 seats in UP this election. Here are excerpts from his interview with News18:

Q: The Gandhi surname factor has been prominent in this constituency. Will it be tough to be accepted?

Jitin Prasada: This is the about party. The top leadership and ground workers are always connected to the people on the ground, elections or not. The party, in its wisdom, has chosen me. The party machinery and all its workers are giving me huge support. PM Modi is being appreciated, especially the schemes. There are lots of beneficiaries here in Pilibhit.

Q: Sanjay Gangwar is the Pilibhit MLA and UP Sugarcane Minister is present here. Sugarcane prices are still a worry here. Have you been able to convince people?

Jitin Prasada: In seven years, we have made more sugarcane purchase than 14 years before us. Sugar mills have been expanded. There are 25 new mills.

Q: What is your vision for this constituency? This area is famous for its tiger reserve.

Jitin Prasada: A lot of work has happened in 10 years. We need to take it to the next level. A bridge is being built here. It was pending since Independence. Krishi samaaj hai. Wheat, rice and sugarcane procurement on MSP is happening and centres have been opened. Earlier, there used to be black marketeers and middlemen here. No more now. Pilibhit is the next tiger destination of the country. But there is man-animal conflict here, so my first priority is solving that. Electric fencing work is on. Tiger is Pilibhit’s mascot. PM Modi said bansuri ki madhur dhun aur sher ki dahaad, pilibhit ki pehchaan hai. (The sound of the flute and the roar of the tiger represent Pilibhit).

Q: You joined before the last UP elections. You became a state minister. Now are you hoping for a central role?

Jitin Prasada: We are all party workers. I got a very important ministry in UP cabinet. I don’t want to think about all this. Right now, my aim is to connect to people, and take PM Modi’s message to every home, and win by a huge margin.

Q: How many seats will you win in UP this time?

Jitin Prasada with Sanjay Gangwar: All 80 seats.

Q: Do you see any competition on ground?

Jitin Prasada: Competition is when there is some comparison. Other parties haven’t even stepped out of their drawing rooms. Only BJP keeps touch with people regardless of elections.

Q: So you see all 80 seats?

Jitin Prasada: 80 out of 80.

Q: Why do you feel so strong?

Jitin Prasada: Double engine, schemes, delivery. They have an alliance but there is no matching of minds. This is an opportunistic alliance.

Q: PM mentioned CAA here. He talked about why it was needed. Pilibhit has a sizeable Muslim population. How will that message land here?

Jitin Prasada: He mentioned how CAA will ease trouble. The reason he mentioned it here is because there are Bengali people here who settled post-independence. They have not got their citizenship even after 70 years. Now they will be fully incorporated.

Q: The opposition opposes it. They oppose CAA and Article 370 revocation. They want you to repeal these.

Jitin Prasada: PM already said their manifesto has Muslim League stamp. See how voters react. They will not accept this where you woo only one section. PM’s work is benefitting all.

Q: On a personal front, you left Congress in 2021. You were close to Rahul Gandhi. You were in central ministries in UPA. Even now, more and more young people are leaving Congress. Why do you think that is?

Jitin Prasada: There is a distance between Congress and the janata, they have no clue. They don’t know what people want. Their work is not clear. They make alliances and then fight with the same parties.

Q: Those leaving say the party raises wrong issues and there’s a leadership crisis. Are these the same issues that you saw?

Jitin Prasada: I don’t know about their present issues, but I have got good fortune to work for Modi and BJP and work for people. We have come to work for the people. This is the only medium. Congress is no longer a medium.

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