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‘I’m glad BJP agrees with us on unemployment’ | India News

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RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav doesn’t regret his party’s earlier alliance with JD(U) that made possible for
Nitish Kumar to become the state’s CM. He also tells Rohan Dua during an interaction that talk
about his camaraderie with LJP’s Chirag Paswan is ‘planted gossip’. Excerpts from the interview
Five years after you campaigned together and formed a coalition government with JD(U), what do you think has changed now?
JD(U) co-opted BJP’s ideology and the style of government functioning became dictatorial. The government became apathetic and discriminatory towards the poor, which was evident most recently in the Covid-triggered lockdown and then during the passage of anti-farmer bills. We are a pro-people’s party. We fight for the rights of farmers. People are by and large fed up with the rising unemployment, inflation, day-to-day corruption, deteriorating law and order, and crumbling healthcare. We are fighting on these issues and I am glad these have become the fulcrum of this election.
With JD(U) as ally, your party got 80 seats in 2015. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, you allied with Congress but results did not go in your favour.
Congress is our oldest ally and we fought the 2014-2015 elections together too. The situation in 2019 was different and state elections are mainly fought on local issues…
LJP and its chief Chirag Paswan are coming into their own. Some say you have struck a bond with him and have found a strategy to attack Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Is there scope for a post-poll alliance?
This is all gossip, planted by JD(U)-BJP. Chirag openly says he is with the BJP and wants to see a BJP CM in Bihar. I can tell you that our Mahagathbandhan will comfortably form a government. Your hypothesis has no basis.
Do you regret that in 2015 your party allowed Nitish Kumar to become CM when you had won more seats?
Lalu ji is someone who keeps his word… He had given his word to Nitish ji, that he would make him CM, and he did. We don’t have any regrets. We fulfilled our commitment.
Your manifesto focuses on 10 lakh jobs for the youth, higher MSP. BJP offers 19 lakh jobs, free vaccines, appointment of 3 lakh teachers. How does it compare?
I am glad to see that the BJP is at least agreeing to the fact now that unemployment is the most critical challenge facing Bihar. But, sadly, in the last 15 years of its rule in partnership with the JD(U), it did absolutely nothing to address this problem. Finding opportunity in a pandemic is a singular skill. Not surprising to see them (BJP) seeking votes promising free vaccines. Ours is a collective resolve to provide jobs, restore dignity of Bihar and bring the state to the top five in the country.
Thirty-three of RJD’s candidates are Yadavs, and the BJP has more than 50 upper caste candidates. Your comments.
We are fighting on 144 seats. Can you look into the castes of candidates put up by the other parties too? Ours is the most inclusive and equitable ticket distribution this time. It has taken care of all sections. We are the party of A-Z.

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