Once the closest aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and now a BJP minister, Ram Kripal Yadav, in an interview with Anirban Guha Roy, slams Prasad’s caste politics, saying the RJD chief has throttled dreams of his own caste men by portraying them as ‘cattle graziers’.
What is the agenda of the BJP and NDA for Bihar?
It is development of Bihar. We want progress and industries in this state. Successive governments of Congress, RJD and JD(U) have failed to live up to the expectations of people despite getting a huge mandate. Statistics show how Bihar is at the lowest pedestal on all development indices — be it education, employment or health. Eighty percent children are anaemic, while only 3% women in households have a matriculation degree. Is this what people had voted the RJD or JD(U) for? Prasad and chief minister Nitish Kumar talk of social justice and uplift of the poor. They have done nothing for them. PM Modi’s development package of Rs 1.65 lakh crore will fast track Bihar for development in all spheres.
You were with RJD for decades. Why didn’t you talk about it then?
Right. I did stay with RJD for long because I felt Lalu (Prasad) thinks for the poor and their empowerment. But he slowly changed and can’t see beyond his family, sons, daughter and wife. He is scared of people with a clean image because he got tainted himself. The veterans of Janata Parivar left him mid-way. When I realised there is no room for grassroots leaders in the party, I left the RJD.
The RJD chief has accused you of amassing huge wealth and having ten hotels in Patna.
I dare him to prove it and I will transfer everything in his name. These allegations show how Prasad is frustrated over his marginalisation in state politics. You must all know, the RJD chief had come to Patna as a student with almost nothing before entering politics. He used to stay in his brother’s peon quarters but today he has huge wealth. We all know how much wealth Prasad has, and where. Pardey mein reheney do, parda maat uthao (Let it stay behind curtains, don’t lift it). I have nothing to hide as my assets are there in the affidavit filed with the election commission as an MP.
This election, Yadavs seem to be the vote bank both the Grand Alliance and NDA aspire for.
Prasad and Nitish have no intention of developing Bihar. They are playing the old caste card which has been totally rejected, especially by youth. They should first tell people what they have done for development in the past 25 years. Prasad’s assertion of Yadavs being with him is totally false. He wants to keep Yadavs on buffaloes’ backs, as cattle graziers and lathi wielding people. He does want the youth to become engineers, doctors or bureaucrats. Those born in 1990 among Yadavs are 25 years old who talk Twitter, Facebook and do not identify with caste or class.