?M-Y equation intact in Bihar?
Despite being an outsider, RJD candidate Akhilesh Prasad Singh says people of Motihari have accepted him whole-heartedly. He talks about his priorities and other issues with RN Sinha
You are a resident of Arwal (Jehanabad), why are you contesting from Motihari?
It was RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav’s decision to field me from here. Since Champaran is closely associated with Gandhi’s independence movement, we as secularists decided to stand against the communal forces here.
After the declaration of your candidature from here you were called an outsider even by your partymen. Do you apprehend any dissidence activity within the party due to denial of ticket to any local RJD leader?
Of course, there was race for the ticket, as happens in every political party but after I was asked to represent this constituency the party men accepted me whole-heartedly.
Even Rama Devi, a senior minister in the state cabinet, who was a serious contender for the party ticket from here, has also accepted me like her own son. In fact, from the very first party meeting here, I found the workers and partymen more cordial and affectionate than my own place at Jehanabad.
What was your experience during campaign?
Even in remote villages, I found people not only enthusiastic about Laloo and the RJD, but also ready to offer financial assistance in his crusade against communal forces. Party’s state general secretary Moti-ur-Rahman was also a serious contender for the ticket, but I was moved when he said that he would not change the secular path merely for the ticket.
Why should people cast vote in you favour?
After independence two groups propounded two streams of thought. RSS, Nathuram Godse, BJP and communalism have been linked with Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Pt Deendayal Upadhaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani, whereas the second stream of secularism is linked with Jawahar Lal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, Jai Prakash Narain, Karpoori Thakur and Laloo Prasad Yadav. I believe that the voters would reject the communal forces and vote in my favour as the representative of secular forces in the country.
What would be your priorities in case you win?
I will take serious and sincere initiative against basic problems faced by the common people in the field of agriculture, sugar factories and Nepal originated flood every year. I was shocked to see the deplorable condition of the Motijheel. I’ll work for its beautification. Regular water and power supply to the people would also be my other priorities. Crusade against communal politics and setting up ideal and equal society would be my other top priorities if I win the election.
Do you find any statewide unrest among the Muslims over denial of RJD tickets to several of their leaders at many places in the state? Has the M-Y equation withered in Bihar?
There is nothing like that. M-Y equation is still intact in the state and rather more prominent in Motihari. No one can accuse Laloo of discriminating between the forward and backward castes. The candidature of Raghunath Jha from Bettiah, mine from Motihari and Sita Ram Singh from Sheohar are evidence to the fact that besides the M-Y equation, Yadav has won hearts of the forward castes too, due to his principle of social justice.