Varanasi, March 2: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday claimed a groundswell of support in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party and said the people of Uttar Pradesh were in the 'mood of rebellion' against the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Addressing a press conference in the city, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the union minister said the people were fed up with the "caste-driven and biased politics" of these two parties and the Congress. Citing the large number of candidates fielded by these parties in the sixth and the seventh phase of assembly elections, Jaitley said there were "diminishing returns to this brand of politics".
"Such politics does not go too far, and in these elections these parties will bear the brunt of peoples' ire for such way of politics" he said, adding that the BJP was so far coursing ahead of its opponents comfortably in the five phases of polling held so far. "The base of the BJP is expanding because of our policies and also against the policies pursued by the BSP, SP and Congress," he added.
There is a large section of society which has so far been kept away from benefits of governance and they are now rising against such parties, he said, while pointing out how recently the BJP did exceedingly well in local body polls in Maharashtra and Odisha. "We have done extremely well in tribal areas of Odisha," he said, and claimed that the opposition to demonetization was hurting the opposition parties in a big way.
"We have won is slum areas where we had not won elections in the past, a large section of the marginalized and poor people are steadfastly behind the BJP now," the Finance Minister claimed.
"Various indices on economic growth have also been pointing at our righteousness in policies," the minister added. "It should be a matter of pride and satisfaction for countrymen that India remains the fastest growing economy in the world, despite the negative propaganda by opposition parties," Jaitley said.
"I have said this in the past also based on revenue figures that we are a robust economy which is growing at a good pace and that the misgivings being spread by the opposition parties are grossly misplaced," the senior BJP leader said while referring to the growth rate in November, December and January months, when demonetization was announced.
"It is very clear now that the country is marching ahead on the path of formal economy...Everyone should be happy but it seems that the Congress is crestfallen," he said.