Prominent tribal leader Kirori Lal Meena is eyeing the role of kingmaker in the formation of the next government in the state. In an exclusive interview with Srinand Jha, Meena asserted that the NPP will emerge as an important vertical.
You are accused of pursuing opportunistic politics, as the NPP has fielded rebel candidates of both the BJP and Congress.
Not quite true. Only about 10% of our candidates are those who were denied tickets by the BJP or the Congress. Is there any idealism that is driving the politics of the BJP or Congress? The Congress took 55 years to become corrupt, while the BJP has achieved the status within 15 years.
Allegations are that the NPP is working as a front for the Congress. That your strategy is to extend support to the Congress – in the case your party is in a position to form the next government.
Senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi approached me with offers to join the party. But I decided to go on my own. The NPP will sit in the Opposition benches. Both the BJP and the Congress have looted Rajasthan. The Ashok Gehlot government has failed on all fronts.
But your wife Golma Devi was a minister in the Gehlot cabinet..
She won as an Independent candidate and had briefly joined the state cabinet.
You are strident against the BJP, but soft on Narendra Modi. The BJP claims that a Modi-wave is sweeping the state.
Where is the wave? Assembly elections are fought on local issues. Vasundhara Raje has no support. Her tenure is remembered for its corruption and mismanagement.
What is your prediction on the poll outcome?
Politics in Rajasthan is changing in a big way. The phase of bipolar politics is over. The NPP will emerge as a powerful third force.