NEW DELHI: Bihar deputy CM and
leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “It signals that most of the opposition parties recognise the larger challenge before the country — the hegemony of BJP, where on the back of money, media and (administrative) machinery power, they are determined to stamp out all diversity from the Indian society as well as from the political spectrum.”
It is also a question of regional representation and social justice and development issues at the level of states, Yadav said. “For all their talk of cooperative federalism, the BJP’s attempt has been to consistently ignore regional disparities. Bihar needs special attention, nobody can deny it. But have we got anything from the Centre? Not quite.”
Yadav dismissed BJP’s attempt to spread the fear that“Jungle Raj” will be back with the return of the Mahagathbandhan government. “Jungle Raj” refers to the alleged state of lawlessness in Bihar when RJD was in power in the state. It is a “tired discourse” and a “classic case” of “crying wolf ”, he said.
“People understand and see through these tactics to divert attention and mislead. Also, this is the age of social media and friends in mainstream media are not the only ones who control the discourse,” he said.
The RJD leader underlined that regional parties and other progressive political groups have to look beyond their narrow gains and losses and save the republic, asserting that it will be very difficult to rebuild if “we don’t stop the destruction in its tracks now”.
Asked if Kumar is best-suited to be PM candidate for 2024 polls and if he could be the opposition’s nominee, Yadav said, “I leave this question for Honourable Nitish ji. I cannot claim to speak on behalf of the entire opposition, however, if considered, respected
definitely might be a strong candidate.”
For the last 50 years, he has been a social and political activist, having participated in JP and reservation movements, Yadav said, adding that “he (Kumar) has more than 37 years of vast parliamentary and administrative experience and enjoys immense goodwill on the ground as well as among his peers”.
Kumar’s decision to break ties with BJP, his ally since 1996 except for the period between 2013 and 2017, has fuelled speculation about his prime ministerial bid.