Being in power for so long had led to a disconnect with the people and that was the primary reason for his electoral defeat, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said, in a candid conversation with HT.
“I have analysed the defeat carefully and am going to take corrective measures. Challenges I accept. This is not the first time,” he said.
Yadav added that chief minister Nitish Kumar had “misused his power” to prevent his voters from reaching the booth. “My voters also did not take [this] with the seriousness it deserved,” he said.
Lalu regretted that he did not do enough to build up the RJD, especially over the last five years, when he was railway minister. “People came to my gate and returned. I did not realise it,” he said.
Lalu said between now and the state Assembly elections in October 2010, he would focus on rebuilding his party and exposing Nitish’s failures. “He is trying to fool the people. What development is he talking about?”
The RJD chief said the Congress should be cautious of how it handles its victory. “Rajiv Gandhi won more than 400 seats in 1984 and lost in 1989. The Congress is already showing signs of arrogance, which is not good,” he said.
Dismissing suggestions that his political career has come to an end, he said: “Nitish has kept Bihar under a spell. I will now break that spell.”