Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said that the party would win by a bigger margin than it did in 2013 if the general elections were to be held today. Shah made the comments in an interview to the Hindustan Times published on Thursday.

The BJP leader said that the party was looking to make gains in West Bengal, Odisha, and Telangana, among other states. “In Odisha, we did well in local elections; in West Bengal, the number of wards under us has increased; we have made gains in Telangana, and in Kerala,” he said. The party had also made gains in every North Eastern state, he added.

Shah admitted that in Gujarat there was resentment among farmers, but claimed that every two votes in the state had been cast for the party. He claimed farmers were angry because production had increased.

“It is our achievement that in Saurashtra, where there could be just one crop, there are three crops today,” Shah said. “Increasing production may be a small problem but adjusting production is not a problem.”

He said the Dalit protests against the party are part of the Opposition’s attempts to mobilise people from the community. The Opposition is not concerned about the welfare of Dalits, he added.

“The Congress has always abused Ambedkar…did not give him respect even after death…did not give him a Bharat Ratna…did not allow his photo in Parliament,” Shah claimed. “How are they talking about it now? Dalits also understand. Democracy has matured.”

Shah refrained from commenting on the death of CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, saying the case was pending before the Supreme Court.

Asked about the legal battle between his son Jay Shah and news website The Wire, Shah said he wanted the courts to get to the bottom of the matter as soon as possible. “People should know before the 2019 elections what the truth is.”

Asked about the party’s electoral promise to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the BJP president said “a grand Ram temple will be built” after the court verdict.

Karnataka elections

Shah said the party would contest every seat in the Karnataka Assembly elections this year on its own. Asked about the party’s leader in the state BS Yeddyurappa and the corruption cases against him in the past, he told Hindustan Times that the charges levelled against Yeddyurappa were quashed by the Supreme Court.

“I think we will certainly form the government under Yeddyurappa ji and with a better majority,” Shah said.