The bypolls in Uttar Pradesh's Kairana are scheduled for 28 May and the RLD, with support from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), has fielded Tabassum Hasan as its candidate. Meanwhile, the BJP has nominated Mriganka Singh, the daughter of Hukum Singh.
While the Samajwadi Party-BSP alliance has certainly strengthened the Opposition, it is still premature to say if the Gorakhpur-Phulpur results will be repeated in Kairana bypolls. In an exclusive interview to News18 Hindi, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary talked about the Kairana bypolls and the united Opposition against the BJP.
Chaudhary recently made headlines when he talked about breaking Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's finger. He had reportedly said, "Yogiji, when 13 children died in eastern Uttar Pradesh train accident, you did nothing except point fingers. But, this is western Uttar Pradesh. If you point fingers here, the people of the area know how to break them."
On coming together with the BSP for the Kairana bypolls, Chaudhary said that even BSP supremo Mayawati wants the Opposition to unite against the BJP. "Mayawati wants BJP to learn a lesson."
Chaudhary termed as "propaganda" the reports of the Opposition lacking young leadership to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that all young leaders, be it Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav or Congress' Rahul Gandhi, are quite capable.
The RLD leader said that he has had elaborate discussions with Akhilesh over Kairana and how important it is to win this bypoll. The 'practical combinations' needed to win the bypolls were also discussed with the Samajwadi party leader, he said. He added that their alliance is not restricted to Kairana bypolls but, will go a long way.
He clearly said that no party, apart from the Congress, shows any potential at the national level. He said that the leadership of those chosen by the Congress will be accepted.
The issue of dues to sugarcane farmers has been made a central issue by Chaudhary in the Kairana bypolls. The government has not fulfilled any of the promises it made. The issue of farmers should be raised and RLD has been working in that direction, Chaudhary said. He also acknowledged that corruption is rampant in the sugar mills and the farmers have to bear the consequences.
After fighting the 2009 Lok Sabha polls with the BJP, the RLD joined hands with the UPA again in 2011. On being asked why the people will trust the RLD when it is spearheading an anti-BJP campaign, Chaudhary said that they are a political party and not an NGO. "We want to remain in power so that we are able to get farmers their dues."
Chaudhary further said that he never even thought about becoming the prime minister. He said that he will push for greater representation of the youth and women in upcoming elections.
The story first appeared on News18 Hindi.
Updated Date: May 22, 2018 13:20 PM