‘His Style, Takes Oath 3 Times in One Term’: Tejashwi Says Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Had No Reason to Leave Alliance

Fresh from a break up with the JD(U), Bihar’s former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav said chief minister Nitish Kumar should be able to answer why he left the Mahagathbandhan alliance in the state and formed a government with the BJP.

Tejashwi, who is on the statewide ‘Jan Vishwas Yatra’ ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, told CNN-News18 that Nitish Kumar had no reason to leave the alliance and is now making excuses by pointing a finger at ministers under him in the previous government.

As for Bihar, the RJD leader said it is the land of social justice and ‘samajwad’. He said he believes that the people will vote for his party based on agenda and, especially because of what happened in the last 17 months, when more than five lakh got government jobs.

Excerpts from an interview:

You are on a yatra that seeks ‘jan vishwas’ and we can see crowds cheering for you. Will this get converted into votes? What is your agenda for this yatra?

Why will it not convert into votes? In 2020, too, the margin of 12,000 votes was small and, that too, after cheating. There was cheating in the same pattern like we saw in Chandigarh (referring to the mayoral elections). Last time, we almost formed the government with majority votes and I believe that people will vote for us on our agenda and, especially because what happened in the last 17 months had never happened before in the entire country. More than 5 lakh people got government jobs.

You said the RJD ‘MY-BAAP’ party. Please explain that.

The opposition made a perception that we were just a party of ‘MY’ (Muslims and Yadavs) and it was done to make our base weak. But our party represents all kinds of people and we go along with everyone. Yes, we have ‘MY’, but we also have ‘BAAP’ – B is Bahujan, A is Agraa (forward), another A is Aadhi Abaadi (women) and P is for the poor. And this means we are A to Z.

You have a strong hold of Yadav voters, which is over 14 percent of the total population in the state. But, the NDA has made a Yadav CM in Madhya Pradesh, while the speaker and deputy speaker in the Bihar assembly are also from the Yadav community. Is that worrisome?

This is Bihar; it is a land of social justice and ‘samajwad’. We are in Supaul right now, ‘ye samajwadiyon ka garh hai’. The BJP is against social justice.

While leaving the Mahagathbandhan alliance, CM Nitish Kumar said ‘mukti mil gayi’. Later, you said that you made a ‘thaka hua CM’ work.

He should answer why he left us, but I have no hard feelings. Whatever he did, it’s his style. He takes oath three times in one single term.

Nitish Kumar has made allegations of irregularities by your ministers in the previous government, for which he said a review will be done. What do you have to say?

He had no reason to break the alliance. He is just making excuses now and creating reasons. I welcome that. You know what he is going to find? How to give jobs, how to make IT policies, sports policies, student policies, how we did the caste survey, how we increased the reservation, how we improved health and education. This is what he is going to find. Why does he need to do a review? If I have done anything wrong, he should know about it.

Nitish Kumar was one of the architects of the INDIA bloc. Do you think that the Congress did not give him his due and time to the alliance when it was the need of the hour?

This matter doesn’t hold much water now. He knew the BJP was breaking up his party; this is why he changed his stance and wanted to make an alliance with the BJP.

With major partners like Nitish, Mamata Banerjee, Bhagwant Mann gone, where do you see the INDIA bloc now?

I don’t know why the media is in such a rush. Why is no one talking about the NDA seat-sharing? Things are working. If people sit and negotiate, things will be sorted out soon.

In the 2020 assembly elections, you shared seats with the Congress but only 19 MLAs could win. Senior leaders like Shivanand Tiwary had criticised the Congress saying Rahul Gandhi was responsible for the loss. Is the Congress as an ally a loss of business for you?

What I believe is that regional parties should sit on the driving seat and the Congress should concentrate where they have a direct contest with the BJP; this is on more than 200 seats. Regional parties are strong in their regions and the Congress should support them there…

The Supreme Court has said what happened in the Chandigarh mayoral elections is a “mockery of democracy”. The chief election commissioner has taken responsibility and said if any kind of rigging takes place, it will be dealt with ruthlessly. What is your take?

We saw what happened there. This is why democracy is in danger. All the constitutional institutions have been hijacked and this is what we are fighting against.

Hemant Soren is in jail, and a couple of AAP ministers are too. Do you think you or your family members are next?

I don’t care. I know I am fair, I know I didn’t do anything wrong and neither did my family. If we have not done anything, they can’t do anything.

The BJP-led NDA has claimed that it will win 400 seats, including all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Can your yatra dent their ambition?

Yes, if the scenario is like Chandigarh (once again referring to the mayoral elections), they can get 400 seats.

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