You were once considered the closest aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. What transpired that you changed loyalty from RJD to BJP?
Truly speaking, as long as I remained in RJD, I had to compromise with my self-respect. In RJD, before Lalu Prasad, there is no room for dignity, honour and self –respect for any, except for his family members. My decision to move was basically an outburst of my long-suppressed and oppressed. Here, I am accorded due respect and dignity by all, including PM Narendra Modi. In the constituency, I am a frequent visitor as a sevak to the people round the year. And it was rewarded in 2014 when PM Narendra Modi welcomed me into his party and fielded me from Patliputra against Laluji’s daughter, Dr Misa Bharti, who is still like a niece to me.
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It is said Yadav voters are averse to BJP and accept Lalu Prasad as the unanimous community leader. How far is it true?
(Laughs). The BJP has more influential leaders of Yadav caste than the RJD has. Non-RJD Yadav candidates won in 2014 and will win again in 2019. The BJP is not an untouchable to them. Nityanand Rai, Bhupendra Yadav, Nandkishore Yadav, Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, Nawal Kishore Yadav and me-all are from the same caste and have been given responsibilities in the BJP, besides many from varied castes. This kind of baseless rumour is generally spread by the people in RJD to mislead the gullible. As far as accepting Lalu Prasad Yadav as the leader of Yadav caste is concerned, he has never been the torchbearer of the community, which intimately and innately follows Lord Krishna. He exploited the trust of our caste men for his own personal gains.
How many seats you predict for NDA in Bihar?
There is again a current in favour of Narendra Modi, who is a symbol of better future of India. Narendra Modi is a Kohinoor in the jewel of India’s democracy and pro-poor. As Bihar needs Nitish Kumar, India needs Narendra Modi because their farsightedness, vision and spirit to work for development and good governance. I have not seen leaders like them, so dedicated to the peace and prosperity of the nation and people. The people of Bihar had suffered a lot in the past. Now they have started enjoying development and the entire credit goes to both Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi led NDA government. Bihar will gift not less than 35 to 38 LS seats to NDA this year.
As minister of state for rural development, what developments have you brought to rural Bihar particularly?
To believe in what I would say, you will have to tour across the hinterland of Bihar. The people no more feel they live in villages –bereft of development. Now, the people enjoy a smart Zindagi with electricity, good roads and many other civic facilities; thanks to record performances by our governments at the Centre and state. Almost all roads, bridges and drainage projects in Patliputra constituency have been completed. The remaining will be completed in NDA’s second term.
What is the USP of NDA for seeking second term in central government?
Obviously, it’s about nationalism and development for all. Justice is the essence of NDA governance and nationalism the spirit. It’s about development with dharma and karma (duty and right).
Congress President Rahul Gandhi mocks PM Narendra Modi saying ‘Chowkidar chor. How do you react?
As an old adage goes; if you spit at the sky, you are bound to smear yourself. And Rahul Gandhi is doing this by mocking PM Narendra Modi who has dedicated himself to the nation with a vision to make it the world’s most powerful, prosperous and peace-loving nation. Parliament me ankh marne wala desh ka PM nahi ho sakta (One who winks in Parliament cannot be the PM of country). Rahul Gandhi is committing an emotional crime by terming –chowkidar chor hai and he is going to get a befitting reply for it.
How far are you sure of getting votes of the minorities?
I am a time-tested sevak of all my voters in Patliputra constituency. As far as the votes of minorities are concerned, they have a lot of love and trust in me. I do ask you again to visit any minority pocket of my constituency you will see and hear of what I have done and how they repose faith in me and my party. Gathering electoral impression without knowing the ground reality makes for an inaccurate assessment.
How confident are you of beating your bhatiji (niece) Dr Misa Bharti in the polls?
Undoubtedly, chacha (uncle) is the choice of people of Patliputra while bhatiji (niece) is blessed by me as an uncle. As a competitor in electoral battle, she has nothing to claim the votes of people-except one-being the daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in jail on charges of financial corruption.The door of my old-ancestral house remains open to the people of Patliputra all round the clock but the gates of the bungalow of Dr Misa Bharti and her other family members are opened when they need it. I have not inherited politics in virasat (legacy) but have served the people as a human can serve Lord Rama. That is the philosophy of my life.