The MP from the North-West Delhi constituency believes that AAP's "illusion" that the backward and middle classes would vote for them once more would be shattered in the next state elections. "Assembly polls should be held at the earliest. This time, the myth will be broken that the backward classes are with them," Raj told PTI in an interview.
AAP will be wrong to think it will bag middle & backward class votes, Raj said
"If AAP thinks that they will retain their vote-bank of middle- and backward-class voters in the next Assembly polls, they are wrong," he said. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had bagged nine of the 12 reserved seats in Delhi in the last Assembly elections as the fledgling outfit surprised all by notching up a tally of 28 MLAs in the 70-member House.
The party then went on to form the government in Delhi with outside support from Congress but relinquished power 49 days later over the Jan Lokpal Bill issue. Thereafter, it failed to create the same hype ahead of the 2014 general elections and managed to win only four Lok Sabha seats.
"The Lok Sabha polls showed that not only Dalits, but people from all sections of the society have faith in BJP," said Raj, who got the better of AAP's Rakhi Birla in the North-West Delhi seat.
Charging Kejriwal with making flip-flops, Raj claimed that the AAP leader's calculations had not fallen into place for the Lok Sabha polls and that was why he was frustrated. He is just trying to impress the masses again by showing that they are still fighters, remarked Raj.
As to BJP's agenda for the Delhi elections, Raj said that "it would be on the same lines as that for the Lok Sabha polls, which is, for a stable government". He averred that AAP and Congress would be no match for BJP in the next Assembly elections, whenever they are held. "AAP has already failed once and Congress is far behind to be thought of as a rival. BJP will get not less than 60 seats this time," he claimed.
Raj said Kejriwal and his party were the main opponents for BJP but added that the former had "a lot to learn". "I also (made it to) Indian Revenue Service in 1988 but resigned from my post. I never showed a greed for power and kept on working for Dalits and the poor," he said.
Raj had resigned from his post in 2003 and formed the Indian Justice Party. Kejriwal had resigned from his post in IRS and formed AAP in 2012. Keeping up his attack on Kejriwal, Raj charged that it was the AAP convener who was to blame for the current "mismanagement in the party".
"The dictatorial attitude of Kejriwal and inaccessibility of the senior leaders has led to what has happened today. AAP must now start counting its days as this is just the beginning," he said. In a blow to AAP, two of its key members -- Shazia Ilmi and GR Gopinath quit the party yesterday citing differences with its leadership. Raj, however, chose to remain silent on whether Ilmi and Gopinath would be welcome in BJP.
Talking about BJP's Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, Raj credited him for his efforts to tie people from all sections of society in one single knot. "Modi is a leader who has place for Dalits in his heart," Raj said, adding that the former practises "inclusive" politics.
"At a rally in Lucknow on March 2, Modi had said that the coming decade would be the decade of Dalits, tribals and backward (classes)," Raj said, adding that BJP was no longer a party of the upper castes.