Is a repeat of 2018 possible?
People of Gorakhpur have no interest in Baba’s (Adityanath’s) election. They are hungry for samman (respect). Our gathbandhan has respected the voice of the people and given the ticket to a local, someone with ears to the ground. Look at how the BJP behaves with the voice of the people. They have picked someone who sings, dances, has no history, context or link with struggles of the people.
What are the main issues this time?
Whatever has happened in the past two years (after Adityanath became CM) excludes us completely. The budget kept us all out. I am amongst the people, my workers, others too, can access me. But in the Mutt, Yogiji sits on a platform and people have to pay respect to him, touch his feet. That is not a relationship of a representative serving the people.
What are the challenges before you?
I have fought six elections and I can tell that the people are with the gathbandhan. I have never found this kind of support. There was this hauaa (feeling) regarding Yogiji that we broke last time, we showed the possibility of defeating him. We had only an informal association in 2018 and yet, we had won… Modiji has mounted a campaign on lies and claims.
The BJP claims smaller castes outside the ambit of the SP-BSP are with it. Our samaj? No. Our people are assertive now. The BJP wants those leaders who function under their remote and say what they want them to. They don’t want voices to come up independently.
This election is very important and 2018 has opened up the possibility of defeating the BJP.