?My chances are fair enough?

Updated on Apr 29, 2004 03:03 PM IST

SP candidate Chunchun Yadav laments that the RJD has ditched him.

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HT Image
PTI | By, Bhagalpur

Talking to Avijit Biswas, Samajwadi Party candidate Chunchun Yadav said the RJD to which he had remained committed all these years had ditched him

Don’t you feel that the switch-over from Jan Sangh to Samajwadi Party has earned for you the epithet, dal badlu?
I don’t think the epithet applies to me. It was because of some reasons that I had to switch my loyalty. Narrating those compulsions would be a time-taking exercise. I had started my career as a mukhiya. I represented Nathnagar in the state assembly thrice between 1969 and 1985 as a member of Jan Sangh, Congress and Dalit Mazdoor Kissan party. Thereafter, in 1989 and 1991, I was elected member of parliament from this constituency on Janata Dal ticket. Last time I represented this constituency as a Rashtriya Janata Dal member.

What made you part ways with Laloo Prasad after remaining committed to him for a long time?
“Etna dino se bewafa ke ghar mein bewafa talash rahein the hum (I was expecting great gratefulness from an ungrateful person)”. Yes, I feel ditched. An incident in 1998 landed me in an unnecessary controversy and that was a major setback in my political carrier.

I had come down the streets in support of a bandh call given by the RJD. Everybody knows what happened next. I was innocent but I was implicated. However, I was absolved of the charge. But the party failed to stand by me during my period of crisis. In fact, I was disowned.

Even after the party failed to stand by you as you say, you preferred to remain with the party during your long period of incarceration and even after your acquittal. You switched loyalty only after the general elections were announced. Why did you wait for so long?
Yes, I was hopeful that my commitment towards the party would be appreciated. But, I was wrong. Despite the fact that I had represented the constituency thrice, the seat was allotted to CPM by Laloo Prasad in 1999. I filed nomination as an independent candidate. The RJD president requested me to withdraw from the contest. He assured me that I would be properly rehabilitated following which I withdrew from the race. He, however, did not keep his word.

Now that you are contesting on a Samajwadi Party, how do you rate your chances?
I see my chances fair enough. My support base is not limited to a particular caste or community. With CPM candidate nowhere in the race, the Samajwadi Party is locked in a straight contest with BJP in this constituency.

With caste equations suggesting CPM is also well placed in the race, how do you say that the CPM candidate in nowhere in the race?
Laloo Prasad’s M-Y equation is unlikely to work in favor of the CPM. The Muslims and Yadavs are thoroughly disenchanted with the CPM. Since they had always stood by me, I am confident of getting their support this time. Apart from the Muslim and Yadavs, the members of the upper castes and other backward castes have always extended support to me.

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