Former director-general of police DP Ojha shot into limelight about five months ago when he was unceremoniously removed from the high-profile post, ostensibly for raising a banner of revolt against Laloo Prasad Yadav. The overnight hero is now an independent candidate from Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency. Ojha claims to have exposed the deep-rooted nexus of politicians, criminals and bureaucrats and says he wants to continue his fight against corruption. This is what, he says, has prompted him to take a plunge into the electoral fray so that he could expose the RJD government. In an interview with Nilanshu Ranjan, he makes no bones about his belief that RJD supremo Laloo is the protector of criminals and gangsters. Excerpts:
You went on record saying that you would not fight any elections. But, here you are contesting the Lok Sabha polls. Should it be assumed that you, too, have turned into a politician who says one thing and does something quite different.
Yes, I had never thought of becoming a politician. I was removed from the post of DGP for exposing the nexus between politicians, criminals and bureaucrats. After that, my fight against the RJD government, particularly party president Laloo Prasad Yadav, intensified.
Hardcore criminals and notorious gangsters are being protected and patronised by the Bihar government (read Laloo). Not only that, some criminals have also been inducted in the Rabri ministry. No one is safe in Bihar. The business community is fleeing, kidnapping and killings have become the order of the day. And the biggest sufferers are the two-crore unemployed youth.
But, no political party came forward to offer you ticket in this fight against corruption. Why?
Basically, my fight is against the Rabri government and the RJD president. There must be some compulsions and reservation that the NDA did not give me ticket. A number of NDA leaders had, earlier, assured me that I would be given ticket from Begusarai by one of the NDA constituents. However, I will not lose heart. I have taken up burning issues and am still in the fray. People have to break the shackles of caste politics. People of integrity have been sidelined or are simply indifferent. They shy away from joining politics as such people have no muscle power, or gun-toting criminals to help them.
You profess to break away from caste politics, but it is believed that you deliberately chose Begusarai, as it is dominated by members of a particular caste.
Yes, it’s true that I chose Begusarai after a lot of deliberations. I was never posted in Begusarai nor have any kin living there. As you must know, Laloo will leave no stone unturned to rout me. He will use all his power—administrative, muscle and money—to do so. He has amassed unlimited money and will also try to stir up caste sentiments. However, his influence will be quite less in Begusarai. In the last 14 years, no RJD candidate has emerged victorious from there. If the people of Begusarai like me, they will elect me, or else, they can reject me.
When your fight is mainly against the RJD chief, why don’t you contest from Chapra from where Laloo is the party nominee?
I have exposed him at the national level. But, that doesn’t mean I should contest from just anywhere. Laloo is also contesting from Madhepura and if I go to Madhepura to contest against him, then I will become a laughing stock. Who will vote in my favour? I will only contest from a place where his influence is less.
So, you say that Laloo is mainly responsible for criminalisation of politics in Bihar
Yes, this is what I say. He has contributed a lot to it. Criminals right from the block to international level have direct access to Laloo. And, this terrible scenario can’t change without unseating him.
What about the threat posed by Shahabuddin?
That is also there. Any day the Bihar government may withdraw my security and I might be eliminated by his men.
But, why this fight against a corrupt government after your superannuation?
People often ask me this question. Actually, I was not posted in the section where matters relating to crime, law and order, etc, are dealt with for quite some time. When I took charge as DGP in February 2003, I undertook the responsibility of exposing the nexus.
Why is the bureaucracy so helpless? Why does it bow to the wishes of the RJD chief?
In a democratic setup, bureaucrats have virtually no role to play as compared to the people’s representatives. Bureaucrats can’t function independently as everything—from transfer to posting, reward to punishment—is in the hands of the government.