Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad met with ET and spoke on a range of issues including the NaMo wave, which he says exists only in the media. RJD will win all the 40 seats it is contesting and after the elections a secular government will take shape at the centre, he says. Excerpts.
You are in the middle of elections, any feedback on the polling held so far on 20 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar? How do you see your prospect?
Going by the voting trend, we expect to win all the 40 Lok Sabha seats. It will be a one-sided sweep for us. BJP has only managed to create a false ballyhoo that there is a NaMo wave. Do you remember India shinning campaign of during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. They created a big noise over India shinning campaign. This time too they are chanting NaMo wave which is non-existent. BJP is visible only in media and this will be vindicated by the outcome of the polls on May 16.
Is the MY (minorities- yadav) combination working again in your favour?
It is not a question of my alone. People cutting across caste and religious line and even the progressive lot among the upper castes want to defeat the communal BJP. They are alert and understand the designs of the communal forces. They know the country will disintegrate if Modi comes to power. Even Vajpayee had some unkind words for Modi. These people are kattarpanthis (fanatics) who are saying that those opposed to Modi should be dispatched to Pakistan. Do you expect the youths to vote for a party which will foment divisions among the people on religious lines? This will never happen.
You have been claiming that you will stop Modi from forming the government at the centre. Even if you do well in Bihar, how can you still be a stumbling block for Modi?
I have already punctured Modi’s balloon.
How will the people tolerate Modi ?
In the three rounds of polling held so far, we have vanquished the BJP. The trend will be no different for the remaining 20 seats. Even in UP the secular bloc is doing well.
So you fancy a political comeback for yourself?
Again it is not a question of my comeback. The important question is how to save the unity and integrity of the country. BJP will divide the country and so the people will not allow this to happen at any cost.
In that case what sort of an alternative government you visualise at the centre?
At this point of time, I can only say that a secular government will be formed at the centre. I don’t want to elaborate on what the contours of such a government will be like but I will act on the advice of the Congress party. I am clear about this. I will be guided by the judgement of the Congress when it will come to forming a secular government at the national level.
Do you think then that there will be a possibility of government formed by regional parties which will be supported by the Congress?
All these are premature questions but one thing I am clear about is that there will be a non-BJP government, which means a secular government.
How many seats you expect the UPA to win? How many seats the UPA should win to stop Modi?
We are in the midst of campaigning and it will be the bounden duty of all secular parties to win as many seats as possible so that communal forces can be trounced at all costs.
But the BJP claims that it will easily attain the magical number of 272 and will form the government with the support of allies.
As I told you, the BJP only exists in media and news channels. Yes there is huge corporate funding for the BJP. The corporate houses have been exposed the way they are backing one man (Modi) and one party – BJP. They have been exposed like never before. The corporate houses may have been hurt because the Congress-led UPA government did not come to their rescue when they found themselves enmeshed in scams like Coalgate and other irregularities. That is the reason why they are behind Modi. But the way the corporates are supporting communal forces has certainly not gone down well with the people. Anyone financing Modi is an enemy of this country.
The biggest victim will be businessmen and traders who will be put to great hardship if the communal forces get an opportunity to flourish. Again the corporate houses are like migratory birds who will keep on looking for new territories and pastures.
Sharad Pawar says Rajnath Singh and not Modi may become the PM if BJP emerged as the single largest party.What is your take on this?
The truth is Rajnath Singh is himself publicising such stories that he only will become PM, and not Modi. This is not a hidden secret, it is known to all, even within the BJP this is a known fact.
In the event of a secular government being installed at the centre, do you think Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) will be part of the ruling establishment?
The virtues of secularism do not hold true of Nitish. He is not a secular leader. He will not be able to open his account. He will be completely marginalized. His political relevance will be reduced to naught. He is greedy and opportunist. He remained in the lap of communal forces for 17 years and now after seeking separation from the
BJP, he is flaunting on secular credentials. He broke free from the BJP hoping the Muslims will flock to him. He thought he was too smart enough to dupe the minorities but he has been caught red handed this time.
Do you think Nitish Kumar’s government will fall if he does fare badly in the Lok Sabha elections?
His government has already fallen, whether it falls on paper or not, it is not my concern. But Nitish is politically finished.He will quit on his own if he has some moral respect left in him. But I am not demanding his resignation.
Courtesy: ET Bureau