On a day RJD chief Lalu Prasad attacked the BJP following income-tax raids on properties allegedly linked to him, saying that “if Lalu’s voice is suppressed, crores of Lalu will come up in the country”, the BJP response came from its general secretary-in-charge of Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav, who like Lalu belongs to the Yadav community and dismissed Lalu as being a leader of the Yadavs.
In a state where Yadavs have largely sided with the RJD, the BJP has given a key post to Bhupendra Yadav and also appointed another Yadav leader, Nityanand Rai, the state party president.
Excerpts from an interview with Bhupendra Yadav:
What political fallout do you expect following the I-T raids on properties allegedly linked to Lalu Prasad and his family?
The common people think that whoever is guilty of corruption must face action. Assets disproportionate to one’s income have always been a matter of concern in politics. The Bihar government is silent on this and is not carrying out a proper investigation of corruption cases. Hence our party will wage a war against corruption and do whatever is required to be done.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram and Lalu have both alleged “witch hunt” and misuse of the CBI. Why have raids against Opposition leaders started all of a sudden?
The CBI is doing its work. The facts of the issues [being investigated] are in the public domain. The allegations by the Opposition are baseless.Won’t the renewed action against Lalu Prasad turn Yadavs against the BJP in Bihar? He has been known to gain politically from such actions in the past; he has said crores of Lalus will emerge in the nation if his voice is suppressed.
This subject is not connected to the Yadav community, which knows that Lalu, instead of promoting good leadership from among the community, has only promoted his family. No community stands with corruption. Social justice does not mean making politics the fiefdom of any particular family. Social justice means equal rights to all, equal opportunity to all, for society to grow. This issue has nothing to do with the Yadavcommunity.
Is it true that Nitish Kumar can move closer to the BJP if Lalu’s RJD is weakened in the wake of these actions?
The present government of Bihar has not met the expectations of the people. We recently passed a statement that Nitish Kumar’s Saat Nischaya have totally failed in Bihar. There is neither any check on corruption, nor any improvement in law and order.. Hence the present government of Bihar has totally failed, and the responsibility lies with both Nitish and Lalu.
Are you demanding that Nitish resign and fresh elections be held? What political options do you see emerging there?
Our party if fighting strongly for the people. Our party is committed to the development of Bihar and give good governance (sushashan). We are going to all sections of people with issues and fighting the issues that people raise.
Is the BJP ready to welcome Nitish back?
As of now, our fight is against corruption and, if any force stands in front of us, we are fighting all such forces. Our effort is to bring a government of good governance (sushashan wali sarkar) in Bihar.
Nitish too is called “Sushashan Kumar” by his supporters. Will your fight against corruption be over if Nitish rejoins the NDA?
Our fight is against corruption there, for which both [Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar] are responsible.