Former MP Sharad Yadav said that the Grand Alliance is all set to “teach betrayer of 2015 Bihar mandate, Nitish Kumar, a lesson”. Yadav had been travelling through the byelection-bound Lok Sabha segment of Araria and Assembly segments of Bhabhua and Jehanabad, that will go to polls on March 11 and the results of which will be declared on March 14.
He also said that the Bihar CM had been “fast losing his grip on once his core constituency” among Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) and Mahadalits. He added that the process of forming a front with maximum number of non-BJP parties is underway.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Yadav said, “What I gathered after holding four public meetings was that there had been an overriding sentiments among people to teach betrayer of mandate a lesson”.
Commenting on the combined strength of BJP and Nitish, Yadav said there had been a “widespread resentment against Central and state governments. “Construction, especially of pucca houses, is the only business in flood-affected area. Now, with the government making restrictions on sand in the name of controlling illegal mining, labourers have no work. ”
He said Nitish’s core constituency comprising several EBCs and scheduled caste Mahadalit groups had also slipped away. “Whatever little is left, is with the BJP.”
Asked if non-BJP parties are trying to form some alliance following BJP’s victory in one state after another, Yadav said: “Soon after Northeast results, there was a meeting at my place. Such attempts are being made… We will also talk to TDP and any other party upset with or opposed to BJP”. He also dismissed talks of his going to Rajya Sabha with RJD support.
Talking about Araria bypoll, Yadav said BJP would not succeed in making attempts of polarisation as there had been widespread resentment among people, cutting across caste and religion. “People are upset with misuse of liquor laws. Over 3,500 Mushahars are not getting bail… The state is spending a lot on illegal liquor purchase and the poor are being unnecessarily harassed in name of liquor law.”