GHOSHWARI-BAIJNA: No government will be formed in Bihar without the support of Third Front, says controversial Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav stressing that the the other two alliances are unlikely to get majority in the Assembly polls.
An uncanny politician, who has swiftly risen in the ranks in last 15 years while frequently changing goal posts, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who parted ways with RJD Chief Lalu Prasad ahead of assembly election, is leading Rashtriya Janadhikar Party which is contesting as part of a Third Front.
He believes that neither NDA nor the grand alliance will get a clear majority and hopes to push his case for the top job in the state in such a scenario. Claiming that only he can "bring a smile" on the face of the poor and the youth, he goes on to say that either of the alliances should support him to form the next government. "People of all castes are fed up with both of them— the grand alliance and the BJP. There is no question of any of them getting a majority. Without Third Front's support, no alliance will be able to form a government," Yadav told PTI in an interview here.
He argues while there is "no wave" in favour of Narendra Modi in Bihar on which the state BJP was "solely banking", the alliance of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad is "not working". Addressing a gathering in Yadav-dominated Ghoshwari- Baijna area in Mokama, he says, "Without Pappu Yadav, nobody will be able to form a government. If that happens within one year I will change the life of people of the region."
A fifth term MP, Pappu Yadav defeated JD-U President Sharad Yadav in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was earlier eyeing an alliance with BJP after being expelled from RJD, but finally joined a six-party
alliance led by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest all the 243 assembly seats in Bihar.
However, NCP whose leader Tariq Anwar was declared its CM candidate walked out of it after Mulayam's remarks suggesting that he wanted the BJP to come to power in Bihar.
He was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from Purnea and twice from Madehpura and it is said his writ ran large in Kosi-Seemanchal region. Out of RJD, Pappu has been touring the state extensively
trying to project himself as a leader of the youth particularly among the Yadavs and has been taking on his one time mentor Lalu in election meetings.
He changed political parties with alacrity in his his 15 years of political career, hopping from LJP to SP to RJD and now heading a new party. Pappu Yadav, who has been the product of watertight
compartment of caste politics of Bihar in the nineties, now projects himself as a leader who wants to "finish the poison of caste". The MP, who was acquitted by the Patna High Court in May
this year in connection with the the 1998 murder case of CPI-M leader Ajit Sarkar for want of evidence, repeatedly talks about the caste struggle in which "hundreds of youths of backward castes were killed" in the region and his fight for reservation.
53-year-old Pappu Yadav spent over five years in jail between 2008 and 2013 as a life term convict in the cases before being acquitted by the High Court.
Evolving from a "bahubali with Robin Hood touch" into a full time politicians, Yadav has worn many hats but still believes in getting things done for his people. Last year he "appealed" to doctors in Bihar to lower their fees for the treatment of poor patients, saying he would otherwise stage protests against them. "I may or may not be in the position of a kingmaker but I
have said that no government will be formed without the support of third front," he told PTI.
The one time blue-eyed boy of RJD chief Lalu Prasad is exploring possibilities beyond his turf as well and entering new territories ever since he broke away from his mentor. "Let me say it categorically that youths of Bihar have negated both the NDA and the UPA. Youths are not going to stay with them," he claims.
Asked what is the next option before them in that case, he replies, "Pappu Yadav. They have seen Nitish and Lalu for 25 years. They have seen the BJP also in all districts as well as Centre. So youths now want to know who will change their life.
"I will do it without spreading the poison of caste politics. I will finish the poison of casteism in Bihar within one year," he said.
"The question does not arise," he repeats thrice when asked whether the Bihar polls is a contest "between the forward castes and backward castes. "This fight is completely a fight against Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar and against the BJP because they do not talk of the development of Bihar. Nitish and Lalu have finished the poor and destroyed the education," he alleged.
"People had already lost faith in Nitish Kumar and after Lalu's coming, the damage is total for him," he says.
When asked which of the two alliances, he would like to support, he says, "Pappu Yadav will be with the one who supports Pappu Yadav’s manifesto. Whichever alliance accepts my manifesto, I will take its support. Why will I give support. I will take support."
To a question as whether he thinks that he is in the race for Chief Ministership, he says, "I have said I have faith in youths. Pappu Yadav wants to change Bihar with the support of youths". Asked about the buzz that he entered the poll fray to cut into the votes of the Mahagathbandhan (grand secular alliance) at the behest of the NDA, Pappu vehemently denies it, saying the crowd in his rallies defy this argument.
"It is the media, which is saying that Pappu Yadav has spoilt the game for all parties," he says dismissing the assertions that Muslim-Yadav (MY) combination is intact and solidly backing the Mahagathbandhan. "If MY combination has become so intact and is solidly with them, why do they abuse Pappu Yadav. Then why they are calling Pappu Yadav 'votekatwa' (candidate fielded to eat into rival's votebank). If it is so intact then why do they attack me?"
Yadav, who, had in past wielded quite an influence among his community voters in Saharsa-Madhepura-Purnea region, has been under attack from the grand alliance leaders for trying to make a dent in "secular votes".
On BJP's prospects, he stresses, "There is no (Modi) wave. Bihar BJP has ruined itself. Now it is only banking on Modi. Is there any leader in this alliance in Bihar? Does people have trust on any of them?" However, the Madhepura MP keeps his attack focused mainly on Nitish Kumar and his alliance.
"If someone is more dangerous for the Yadavs and poor, it is Nitish Kumar. The maximum damage to Yadavs, their political fortunes was done by Nitish Kumar," he alleged.
In Mokama, when a Yadav youth was murdered allegedly by the henchmen of Mokama MLA from JDU, Anant Singh, Pappu Yadav took up the matter and turned it into a major political row pushing RJD chief Lalu Prasad to quickly follow suit and prevail upon the Nitish Kumar government to ensure that the Mokamba legislator is sent behind bars.
In his election rallies in Mokama, Pappu is raking up the incident to paint the Nitish Kumar government as "anti-backward and anti-poor".