RANCHI: Former Jharkhand minister Saryu Roy, who defeated Chief Minister Raghubar Das in the recently-concluded state assembly elections in his "safest" constituency Jamshedpur (East), said the BJP "made a mistake" by handing Das the leadership role in the state.
Describing the BJP's crushing defeat by the JMM, Congress and the RJD alliance a victory over egotism, Roy said Das' "dishonesty and arrogance" resulted in his defeat.
In a conversation with IANS, Roy said Das had become unpopular in Jharkhand, something the BJP leadership could not understand and the entire responsibility of the party was given to him. Roy quit the BJP to contest as an Independent from Jamshedpur (East) and defeated Das.
When asked about going with the JMM, Congress and RJD alliance, he said: "I am not going anywhere. I will remain neutral. I will work for the interest of state, public and country. My decision will be based on merits and demerits. That is why I will remain neutral. I will do whatever is in the interest of the state."
Describing his victory as "the victory of the people of Jamshedpur", he said the people of this region had been angry with the Chief Minister's family for the last five years and wanted to get rid of this fear. "People were determined to teach Raghubar Das a lesson. I started off as a lone voice, but then people came along. The entire election was fought by the people," he said.
When asked about ticket being cancelled, Roy said that doing politics does not mean compromising self-respect. "The BJP hurt my self-respect. This is the reason why I announced to contest the election against the Chief Minister," he added.
Roy, who played a key role in exposing the fodder scam, said his fight against corruption will continue. "Jail is the right place for those who indulge in corruption," he said.
When asked about JMM leader Hemant Soren, the chief minister-designate, Roy said: "Soren is young, educated, my best wishes are with him. I wish Hemant Soren to form a strong and stable government and run it better."
Saying that meeting the expectations of the people is his first priority, Roy said, "My victory has been possible due to the people of Jamshedpur. My first priority will be to live up to the expectations of the people. I will never break the trust of the people."
Before the Assembly polls Saryu Roy was included in the list of senior-most BJP leaders. Roy, who is seen as a leader with clean image, was upset over his name missing from the fourth list of BJP candidates in the Jharkhand election. He left his seat in Jamshedpur (West) and contested from Jamshedpur (East) as Independent against Das.