Tejashwi also said that the BJP-RSS has a agenda of a Hindu nation and their tried and tested formula is communalism.
Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav who led the Rashtriya Janata Dal to become the single largest party in the Bihar Assembly elections against the BJP-JD(U) combine, finally opened up on the question of whether handing Congress a sizable chunk of seats cost the party its shot at power in the polls last year.
During a recent interactive session with The Indian Express, Tejashwi said that the Mahagathbandhan was an alliance of like-minded parties and the Congress has been RJD’s oldest ally. He said that every party wants to contest more seats and when there is an alliance, all parties in it are one – be it the Congress or the RJD. Tejashwi said that if a party is strong in an area, it should fight from that seat and one has to make some small sacrifices to keep the alliance intact.
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Notably, the Congress contested 70 seats as a part of Mahagathbandhan but could only win 19 seats, one of the key reasons behind Tejashwi and the RJD warming the opposition benches in the Bihar assembly.
When asked what the RJD could have done differently to win the Bihar polls, Tejashwi said that the Mahagathbandhan fell short in front of the BJP in terms of resources. “If we had one helicopter, they had 30. Since the elections were happening in only one state then, they had put their entire might into it. The mandate of the people was with the Mahagathbandhan, but you can say that the decision of the EC was in favour of the NDA…” said Tejashwi.
The Leader of the Opposition said that they are raising the issue of economic justice to drive the government’s attention towards the people’s plight. He said that poverty and inflation are big problems. “Bihar grows a lot of maize, sugarcane, bananas, but there are no food processing units for this produce. There are not enough factories and industries in the state which can create jobs. No work has been done for it by the government….Even now, Bihar has to deal with both floods and droughts and the government has not found any solutions. That is why economic justice is very important now and so we are raising it,” he said.
Reacting to the LJP fiasco, Tejashwi said that they have had good relations with Chirag Paswan and he needs to be more clear in his ideology and decide about any possible alliance.
The RJD leader also slammed CM Nitish Kumar for not paying heed to people’s demands. “The walls of the CM’s residence are getting higher, his security is increasing. During his yatras, he just gets off the helicopter, sees the project and returns. I meet common people every day. The CM only meets bureaucrats for analysis meetings. And what is the result of that? Healthcare, education, everything is in a shambles in Patna,” said Tejashwi.
Talking about an alternative to take on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tejashwi said that the Congress is a national party and the Opposition cannot come together without the Congress. “The Congress has to become the foundation of any such Opposition….Everyone has to come together, keep aside their egos and differences to save the country. If you remove the regional parties, there are at least 200 seats where the Congress and BJP are in a direct contest. But in areas where the regional parties are strong, they should be put in the driving seat. The time has come for this….” he said.
Tejashwi also said that the BJP-RSS has a agenda of a Hindu nation and their tried and tested formula is communalism. He said that the opposition’s strategy should be based on real issues and it must find a solution to the way the BJP, RSS do their publicity of religious and other issues.
He said that Bengal elections showed that people believe in secularism. “Regional party leaders such as Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Pawar, we meet from time to time. Everyone is concerned about the country. Very soon there will be a strategy in place….If we have not been able to convince people so far, it means there are some mistakes, and we are not being seen as ‘one’. So we need to let go of our egos and differences, who gets what post, we must forget that. If the country survives, we will get posts,” said Tejashwi.