Only a bold person like Mayawati could have taken such a stand
I resigned from the constitutional post, and asked behenji to give me an opportunity to serve her. I then told her I wouldn?t let anyone send her to jail, says Mishra.Updated: Apr 16, 2006 12:40 IST
What prompted you to enter politics, and that too, a pro-Dalit party like the BSP?
It all happened in 2004, with Mayawati behenji’s resignation from the CM’s chair. I knew that BJP was pressuring her on seat sharing in the Lok Sabha elections. They were offering her 20 seats, which was unacceptable to her. They threatened her with dire consequences. She eventually resigned. Only a bold person with total conviction in her constituency could have taken such a stand. I was her Advocate General then and was convinced that she did not have even a remote role in the Taj corridor episode. The BJP wanted to fix her and the CBI was hounding her. I resigned from the constitutional post I was holding, and asked behenji to give me an opportunity to serve her. I then told her I wouldn’t let anyone send her to jail. We were successful.
Is it because of the court cases that you fought that you were rewarded with the All India general secretary’s position?
I had fought cases for so many political leaders but none ever thought of appointing me as an Advocate General. She selected me for the constitutional position though I had never fought her case. Similarly, she selected me for the party position. When I talked about the high office she had given to me, she lightly said, “Let me make one more mistake”. The position has come as both a responsibility and challenge.
You have organised Brahmin sammelans in the state. Are you trying to change the very character of the BSP?
This is absolutely wrong. I have attended the BSP’s cadre meetings and understood their policies and ideology. Nowhere are they anti-Brahmin or anti-upper castes. The BSP’s rivals have painted this false picture. Like others, I too give my frank opinion on various subjects at party forums, but work on behenji’s guidance and directions. We had organised 24 rallies in the state, which culminated with a state-level convention. Brahmins came in droves and behenji sent a clear message that they will get full samman in the party.
Are you optimistic about Brahmin support?
Hundred per cent, just wait for the elections! Both the BJP and the Congress have used the Brahmins and dumped them. They constitute 14 per cent of the population and play a crucial role in 125 assembly constituencies. People had misled them by false propaganda. Behenji has allayed their fears. Recent elections proved their participation. Mulayam cannot dent their association with us. Their support will further strengthen the party and attract the other upper castes to us as well.
Aren’t other BSP leaders jealous of you?
Why would they be jealous? We all know that there is only one leader, the rest are workers. There is no number two, three or four like other parties. After behenji, there is one common group. She assigns roles to all of us, gives us the freedom to air our views and then takes a decision.
What role do you see yourself playing in the party in the future?
Court cases, elections, rather whatever is given by behenji. There are signals that BSP is coming back to power. Our strongpoint is her good governance.
Are you comfortable in pro-Dalit party?
I am enjoying it every bit as I want to contribute my best to social engineering.
First Published: Apr 16, 2006 12:40 IST