"Not with BJP again"

Updated on Apr 06, 2004 07:23 PM IST

The RLD leader says he made a mistake by aligning with the BJP.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | BySanjay Kumar (HindustanTimes.com), New Delhi

You are unstable as a political leader? You have changed sides more than any other Indian leader. Your comment.

You don't say anything if Atalji changes his stand after every six months. Neither do you say anything when the BJP aligns with the AIADMK, then dumps it to join hands with the MDMK. The fact that I change sides very often is the creation of the press.

I have joined hands with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh because the social base of both the parties are same. We both cater to the same class of people so SP is a natural ally.

The issue of Harit Pradesh is used in accordance with your own convenience. You don't raise the issue when you are part of the Government, when you are out of Government you rake up the issue. Your comment.

The agitation for a separate Harit Pradesh cannot be completed in just two years. It took 50 years of agitation for the creation of a separate Jharkhand state. The people of western Uttar Pradesh are of a different temperament and they cannot resort to violent agitation as witnessed in Jharkhand.

I had participated in both the meetings held for the separate state of Telengana and Vidharba. My participation in the Telengana meet had perhaps even infuriated the BJP president Venkaiah Naidu. I can't do much with just 12 MLAs.

Why did you leave the BJP?

I am essentially a farmers' leader. However, the community does not constitute a significant portion of the BJP's vote base, and the party is never too keen to keep them in its good books. This makes an alliance between the two unnatural.

Though the Union Government decided to lower excise duty on steel in its interim Budget, thus benefiting the automobile sector, it did not think of lowering the price of fertilisers.

The support price for wheat, sugarcane and other crops has hardly increased in the last two years. The Government made a substantial budgetary allocation to meet the crisis created by the UTI fiasco, but a very poor one to meet the 2002 drought.

The middle class forms a huge chunk of the BJP's vote bank. It is to appease this class that the Government has merged 50 per cent dearness allowance with the basic pay of Central government employees.

Will you ally with the BJP in future?

No. I will never again be a part of a BJP-led government, either at the Centre or at the state level. It was a bad decision to be a part of the NDA coalition at the Centre.

What is the number of seats, which the RLD is likely to get in the coming Lok Sabha elections?

In the last parliamentary elections we had won two seats. We lost the Ghaziabad seat by a meagre 10,000 votes. RLD and SP being a natural ally could win around 45 seats in Uttar Pradesh.

There is rumour that film star Dharmendra is contesting against you from Baghpat. Your comment.

I have also read similar reports in newspapers. More than anything else it shows that the BJP is not getting any candidate against me in Baghpat. Sompal has refused to contest from Baghpat.

What do you think of the Congress? Do you foresee a post poll alliance with the party?

Congress is not going to be in a position to form government after the Lok Sabha polls. So the question of a post poll alliance with that party does not arise.

It is the regional issues, which are determining the combination of power at the Centre. The TDP is supporting the BJP at the Centre because it is opposed to the Congress in the state. The same equation is equally applicable for other parties.

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