‘BJP is desperate to capture Bihar after losing Delhi’

Poornima Joshi New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 19, 2015


The party will use Chief Minister Manjhi and throw him out, says Sharad Yadav

A day ahead of the test of strength in Bihar Assembly, Delhi is abuzz with charges of horse-trading and sabotage.

JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, expressed sympathy for Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi who, he said, was being “led up the garden path” by the BJP.

He also accused the BJP of trying to subvert the legislative process in Bihar to impose President’s rule.

Eating a frugal meal before dashing off to Patna, Yadav spoke to BusinessLine about the BJP’s “treachery” and why he thinks Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monogrammed suit is a “museum piece”.

You have to concede one point to the BJP — that they can’t be blamed for you not being able to keep your house in order.

If Manjhi is not following the party line, how is the BJP to be blamed? Shouldn’t you take responsibility for appointing him in the first place?

Nitish (Nitish Kumar, former Bihar Chief Minister) initially came up with the idea of appointing Jitan Ram.

I thought it was brilliant. Manjhi comes from an extremely poor family. His father was a contractual labourer.

We had such high hopes for him. It is sad to see him being led up the garden path by the BJP. They will use him and throw him out.

Till today, it is not clear whether they will vote for him on the floor of the Assembly. (Later in the day the BJP announced its support). Let them announce that Manjhi is their chief ministerial candidate if they have suddenly become conscious of the rights of oppressed communities.

We made him Chief Minister because our party has stood by the poor, the backwards for decades.

The BJP is not fooling anyone. They confirmed what we have been saying all along by finally making noises about support to Manjhi.

But I doubt whether even that is true given that no formal offer of support has been made.

All they want to do is to disrupt proceedings in the Assembly so that they can impose President’s rule in Bihar.

But the BJP legislature party has decided to extend support to Manjhi…

You have to wait and watch what they do on the floor of the Assembly.

I fear the worst. They have already started demonstrating against the Speaker.

I think they will create chaos in the House because these people do not believe in the democratic process.

If they were supporting Manjhi all along, why did they not agree to a floor test when we asked for it?

The Governor allowed them 11 days to try and sabotage the trust vote by horse-trading.

I’ll tell you what is behind all this — their defeat in Delhi has destabilised the BJP.

Now they want to capture Bihar by hook or by crook.

But it is not that easy for a party of, for and by the rich to suddenly start espousing the cause of the poor.

The JDU) can hardly claim monopoly of the poor. The BJP is led by a person of humble origins…

Sure. That’s why he wears a suit that costs so much.

By the way, I think it’s a bad idea to auction it. That suit belongs in a museum. It has historical significance.

Generations of Indians should get an opportunity to observe such a unique item, like we look at ornaments and clothes worn by emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb.

Your party’s conduct is hardly impeccable given the way you have pushed the Speaker to accord you the status of opposition party. Isn’t the BJP right in questioning how one party can occupy the treasury as well as opposition space in the House?

The Chief Minister and his eight MLAs do not belong to our party. They have no party and we are opposing him. What does that make us? The Speaker has taken the right decision.

Published on February 19, 2015
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