Days after Janta Dal United joined NDA – senior JDU leader KC Tyagi in an interview with Rajya Sabha TV expressed his innermost feelings about JDU’s relationship with Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Tyagi said that the alliance was becoming uncomfortable because of the corruption against RJD leaders. He even said that RJD leaders did not want to come clean on the issue, that’s when Nitish Kumar decided to resign.
Talking about the larger plans of the 2019 elections, he said that JDU will never prove to be a liability for BJP rather it will be an asset not only for Lok Sabha elections but for state elections as well.
He even stressed the fact that JDU realised its limitations as they are a small party with just two MPs.
Denying reports of JDU’s disappointment over the recent cabinet reshuffle, Tyagi cleared the air saying that JDU did not expect anything in the cabinet expansion as there was no discussion between the Prime Minister and Nitish Kumar.
Here are the edited excerpts of the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV Anchor Neelu Vyas
Q: JDU did not get anything in the cabinet reshuffle?
A: JDU never expected anything. Nitish Kumar never discussed on cabinet reshuffle with PM Modi or BJP leader Amit Shah as the expansion was confined to BJP. None of the allies were considered. Personally, we are not disappointed with the expansion as this is not the last day. In the end, we are political optimists.
Q: Probably there might be another reshuffle, like adjusting Shiv Sena, AIADMK, have you or your party has spoken to Prime Minister on this?
A: Our joining NDA was accidental. The beginning was made when we congratulated Amit Shah on his Rajya Sabha membership. All these years our relationship with RJD was an uncomfortable one.
One of RJD member RaghuvanshPrasad Singh uses to make sarcastic remarks on JDU and Nitish Kumar. Before 2010 Lalu’s RJD has 22 MLAs. When CM Kumar and Lalu formed the tie, the number reached to more than 80. Nitish has an excellent image of good governance. He is indeed a leader of the marginalised section.
Q: So do you mean to say RJD piggybacked on JDU, was that the reason of your breaking the ties with RJD?
A: There is no brotherly relationship in politics. When CBI and Income Tax department accused Misa Bharati and Tejaswi Yadav with charges of corruption after performing raid in their respective residence, we never asked Tejaswi to resign as he was in public life.
Nitishji gave him and his family a chance to accept but they did not do. That was the main reason when Nitishji decided to meet the governor and resigned from the post of Chief Minister of Bihar. Post his resignation, negative publicity increased for JDU. Each passing day was full of embarrassments. Nitishji never compromised with corruption. We even approached to Congress for help so as to sort out the differences but nothing happened.
Q: Your relationship with RJD, do you think it was unholy alliance?
A: Of course, it was an uncomfortable alliance as it was impossible to carry on.
Q: JDU as a party has always grown with the help of allies. When you go alone you do not fare well, what about the larger plans of JDU?
A: Our objective has always been that whoever will help us we will be with that group. JDU is an extension of the socialist block which had led by Lohia, C. V. Chaudhary, and Charan Singh. Socialist block crumbled with time but its strength has always been recognised.
But you tell me. When RJD is with JDU, the number of MLAs raised from 22 to 80. When we formed ties with BJP, the number of MLAs reached more than 100 in number. We have our own strength. Nitishji has a good value.
Bihar has been one of the most backward states. During Laluji’s regime there was no law and order, schooling was almost zero, no business no mining. During NDA rule in 2004 Nitishji worked overtime to double the GDP growth.
Q: Do you still have differences with BJP?
A: Differences only were on controversial subjects like Article 370, uniform civil code, Babri Masjid. Today BJP is vision of making a new India. New India means new Bihar. We hope we will be able to see a new Bihar. We are an all India party. We have been recognised party. Ours is a mutual relationship.
Q: Did you join hands with NDA from the perspective of 2019 elections?
A: PM Modi has a slogan for developed India. We will support NDA for making a developed India.
Q: What happens to Nitish’s Prime Ministerial ambitions?
A: We are a small party, we have two MPs. For the last few years Nitishji has not spoken his wish to become Prime Minister. Today, Congress leaders and left have commented that Nitishji should not have joined NDA as he is a suitable PM candidate for future. Other party members have been jealous of Nitish’srising popularity. TMC leader Mamta Banerjee was our best friend. But she sat on a dharna against CM Kumar.
Q: Has Nitish Kumar lowered his stature by joining hands with NDA?
A: History will tell whether it was a right step or not. If Nitishji had carried on the alliance with RJD, he would have been called the Manomohan Singh of the grand alliance. It was impossible for us to carry on with the kind of corruption cases mounting against RJD leaders. Nitishji has taken a right step to curb corruption.
Q: Lalu Yadav says its political vendetta?
A: Laluji has been debarred form contesting elections as he is corrupt. He is trying to cover up things. This is an unfair alibi. I don’t take Lalu Yadav seriously anymore. Nitishji has no assets, no corruption cases. The only person who can checkmate him is the one with development agenda
Q: JDU has a Nitish Kumar camp and Sharad Yadav camp, are you sorry that you have lost Sharad Yadav’s connection with JDU?
A: I am sorry about Sharad Yadav going separate. We tried to persuade Sharad Yadav. He lowered his stature when he joined RJD’s group specially his political rally. Lalu Yadav is corrupt. Sharad Yadav had a long talk but even then he joined Lalu’s rally. That was not right. What’s surprising is that Sharad Yadav always stood against corruption. Sharad Yadav has lost direction.
Q: Amit shah has said that he is planning to increase the footprints of BJP in states where they are with allies. Ultimate aim will be to increase the footprints of BJP, what will happen to parties like JDU, Shiv Sena etc.
A: We are not comfortable with BJP increasing its footprint; we will grow along with BJP. We will be of BJP’s use in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh. We will be an asset for BJP not liability.
Q: If, in case of another reshuffle which portfolio will you want?
A: For us cabinet expansion is not the priority. For us we need to grow along with BJP. They will help us, we will help them. If we are respectfully invited for the expansion we will consider it.