A disgruntled Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) is travelling through Bihar to interact with people and possibly chart a new political course, hurt that Nitish Kumar did not “call me even once before taking such a big decision” of aligning the party with the BJP. To questions pitched by Santosh Singh, he said he had “sensed long back something is cooking between BJP and Nitish”.
Everyone wants to know what Sharad Yadav would do next. Will you float a new political party or split JD(U)?
I have been interacting with people of Bihar to know their reactions to betrayal of mandate for Grand Alliance. I am overwhelmed with people’s response. They are coming to listen to us braving the rain. As for my next political move, let it be a suspense for a while. Let people decide what I should do. I have been on the move to get more feedback to take a final call.
There has been speculation about you keeping open one option of joining RJD.
It is an absolute canard being spread by “sarkari” JD(U). Yes, there have been RJD and Congress workers besides JD(U) workers supporting me throughout the public interaction programme. But talk of my going with the RJD is mischievous and and a canard. But I did say I am still part of Grand Alliance and request people to make it rock solid. It has been my main plea during my public interaction programmes.
Would you participate in the JD(U)’s national executive in Patna on August 19 to tell it all in front of Nitish Kumar?
It is a tough question to ask. Let it also remain a suspense. How can I spill the beans when I am in the middle of public interactions? But what I have been doing is something the country has been looking at with interest and expectation.
Do you think there has been any secret deal between Nitish Kumar and the BJP?
I have no idea but Nitish did have something going on in his mind since the beginning of the formation of the Grand Alliance government. He did not give key portfolios such as personnel and home to senior alliance partner RJD and also had a JD(U) Speaker. The way he supported the NDA government over demonetisation and followed it up with support to the NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind told a lot about what was going on in his mind. I had sensed long back something is cooking between the BJP and Nitish.
Why did Nitish joining ranks with the BJP rankle you? After all, you had long been part of the NDA and was also its national convenor.
Nitish Kumar never kept me in loop about it. He did not call me even once to discuss this. What rankles me is the betrayal of the Grand Alliance mandate given in the 2015 Assembly polls. Nitish, Lalu, Congress and I had made the Grand Alliance after months of effort and with an objective to offer a model to the country to take on the BJP. The entire country looked up to Bihar as we halted PM Narendra Modi’s victory rath despite his all-out effort to win Bihar. It has been a betrayal of faith of 11 crore people of Bihar.
Was the NDA split in June 2013 not a betrayal of the people’s mandate?
Even then, I had tried my best to prevent the NDA split. I tried almost for a year to save the NDA alliance but did not succeed. But times are different now. NDA leaders have been approaching me to win over this time but I stick to the theme of “beyrayal of people’s trust”. I am hurt in equal measure. I do not hanker after power or position.