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BJP's defeat in Bihar is a message for India: JD(U)

PTI 28 Aug 2014, 11:27:11 AM IST
PTI
New Delhi: Holding the divisions within the old Janta Dal as a key reason for BJP's rise in Lok Sabha polls, JD(U) Wednesday said the 4-6 defeat of BJP at the hands of RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance in Bihar is a "message for the country".

Party President Sharad Yadav, however, refrained from commenting on whether his party has got in touch with Biju Janta Dal in Odisha, Samajawadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and Janta Dal (Secular) in Karnataka, while saying there are indications that he is keen that the old Janta Dal family reunites.

He also parried questions about the possibility of merger of JD(U) and RJD in Bihar saying the two parties are right now in an alliance.

Yadav, one of the senior leaders of the old Janta Dal, who had become an MP from Jabalpur first as a student leader riding on the crest of anti-Congress wave, justified the alliance with RJD in Bihar.

"Congress has been reduced to 44. This is where we placed it. It's now only a shadow of what it was. Should we keep fighting the shadow? Now the issue is secularism and total justice," he said.

The JDU chief said that the BJP came to power due to "total collapse" of the UPA during the polls and absence of the Janta Dal as an axis power.

"That we are a small party today should not make people forget that the Janta Dal formed government at the Centre thrice and our government was supported by both Congress and BJP. It reflected that we represented a bigger consensus," he said.

Yadav said that JD(U)'s 17-year-old ties with the BJP broke as the national agenda, on which it was based during the period of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani and which was within the parameters of the Constitution, was given a go-by.

Buoyed by the victory, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar had said that the voters expressed their "displeasure" with the Narendra Modi government and suggested that the alliance would be broadened to include Left parties to check BJP's "communal agenda".

Yadav stressed that Janta Dal's history cannot be undermined and said there is a need to consolidate 69 per cent of voters, who did not vote for the BJP.

"They have got only 31 per cent of votes. If the 69 per cent votes are brought together, it will be better for the country. When there is a strong Opposition, the country runs on the right path.

"What has happened in Bihar has a political message for the entire country. Even in Bihar, the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls happened because the Janta Dal was divided (into JD(U) and RJD)," he said.

Replying to questions about leadership issue in Bihar between Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar, the JD(U) chief said that "unlike the tug of war in Congress and BJP over it, this is not an issue in JD(U)" and cited the examples of the anointment of H D Devegowda and I K Gujaral as Prime Minister in past.

He attacked the NDA government saying that it was "walking on the same path, which was traveled by the UPA".

"The Achche Din has only translated into attempts to bring maximum foreign capital," he said.

Yadav also welcomed the Supreme Court ruling that the coal blocks allocated by the government between 1993 and 2010 were illegal and demanded that those involved in the manipulation should be punished as "coal blocks were distributed like cinema hall tickets".

The JD(U) chief also attacked the BJP over "Love Jihad" issue saying that on the contrary the country's rigid social system can be broken only by promoting inter-caste and inter-community marriages.

He said he would like to appeal to the RSS that they should focus on ending the caste system among Hindus if they want to unite them as this would send a positive signal among other communities as well.

Yadav also disagreed with the BJP's decision to drop senior leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi from its highest decision-making body, the Parliamentary Board and in a token gesture including them in the five-member 'Margdarshak Mandal' (guiding group).

"Those in politics ripen in understanding as they age. Most of India's Prime Ministers in the last more than 65 years were old leaders," he said.