Sharad Yadav, RJD candidate for Madhepura in Bihar, tells Rajesh Kumar Thakur that had he continued as the convener of the NDA and not been pressurised by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to quit, Narendra Modi would not have been Prime Minister. Excerpts from an interview:
You were NDA’s national convenor and are now in the opposite camp, joining a long-time foe. Is it about politics or something else?
I have always been a votary of politics with principle. I never compromised with unethical politics whether I was in NDA or RJD. I joined hands with RJD chief Lalu Prasad for the sake of the poor people and to rescue the country from ruin. The NDA of Atal Behari Vajpayee’s and L K Advani’s time has been dumped by the present NDA led by Narendra Modi, who is acting like a monarch and autocrat.
If the country is in ruins now, who is responsible for this situation?
Frankly speaking, had I continued as NDA convener, I would not have supported Modi as the NDA face for prime ministership. But it was none other than Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who pressurised me to such an extent that I had to quit. As a result, Modi’s name got unanimously endorsed and he became the NDA’s face for PM and landed the country in chaos. Let me tell you a million-dollar startling fact — even the RSS was not in favour of Modi as PM face. He is nothing but a “situational prime minister of India”.
What is your estimation of the possible outcome of 2019 LS polls nation-wide?
My sixth sense and political experience says India is on the edge of yet another round of political shift from NDA to Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan). The alliance has emerged as the last resort for people reeling under penury because of Modi’s imprudent politics. Whenever citizens get restless against an existing system of governance, the country witnesses a major change. India’s integration has been jeopardised by the ‘divide and rule’ policy of Modi-led NDA on the lines of caste and creed. The Mahagathbandhan will secure a comfortable majority to form the government at the Centre and the NDA will not even be a strong Opposition. Such is the anger among the people against the NDA now.
At a time when the NDA is pitching its development card, how will the Mahagathbandhan’s caste and quota cards impact poll outcome?
Who says the Mahagathbandhan plays only caste and reservation cards in elections? The Mahagathbandhan is an alliance of social engineering in which castes are not counted but agendas are set to ensure social equality with equal dignity for people of all castes and creed. It is the NDA’s poll gimmick to ignite the sentiments of people on the lines of caste and creed. They target the minorities in the name of saving cows. A fear psychosis has been created by promoting discriminatory and religion-based politics that would never succeed in its objective as long as Socialists leaders like me are alive. The NDA in Bihar is led by Nitish whose instability in any alliance and unreliability has attained notoriety. Shifting stance is his USP.
How do you rate Modi, Nitish, Lalu and Rahul Gandhi by their politics?
That’s a tough question. I have been one of those politicians who never surrendered to undue demands. I see PM Modi as a self-obsessed politician who cares for his own personal life. What he says, he never does and what he does, he never says. Nitish Kumar is rarest of the rare kind of politician who cannot ever be reliable and stable in alliance with anyone. He has now lost all political credibility... On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi is young and his enthusiasm is high. He has the potential to add a new chapter of people-oriented politics in India’s democracy. As far as RJD chief Lalu Yadav is concerned, he is a legend of politics who ensured equality and dignity of downtrodden people. He has created a political history of social engineering.
How sure are you of your victory from Madhepura which faces a triangular contest, with two other rival candidates of the same Yadav caste to which you belong?
Refer to the political profile of Madhepura, you will know that both I and Lalu were elected from here and delivered the best results to the people of the constituency. I don’t like to name those in the fray against me but they would get a ‘go’ sign from the voters. I don’t see a triangular contest here. Even if Nitish Kumar settles down permanently in Madhepura, his candidate will never win.