I am like Lord Shiva: Lalu Yadav

I am like Lord Shiva: Lalu YadavRJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, in an exclusive interview with Swati Chaturvedi of Zeenews.com on her programme Kahiye Janab, brings out the hard facts about national politics, his disillusionment with the Centre, his take on the Nitish government and his political regrets.

Fifteen years of undisputed rule in Bihar, five years of successful stint as Railway Minister, but how do you rate your position now?

We never were the supporters of Congress initially. But it was in a very bad state. Communal forces were getting stronger. We live in a strange country which is a potpourri of myriad cultures. Language changes here at every 20 Kilometers. But its beauty lies in its diversity.

You had said that Sonia is the daughter-in-law of India…?

That’s what I am driving at. Sonia comes from the Nehru family. I, in fact opposed Congress. I was a simple villager and was against nepotism in politics. Sonia had become a victim of BJP’s conspiracy and was being terrorized. She had seen many odds in life, but still decided to hold on to this country, with her two children. I was against her being dubbed as a foreigner and hence supported her. Without any personal interest I stood by her. I faced a lot of opposition also. In fact I did not even want to become the Railway Minister when the UPA won. It was they who called me.
Do you feel sad and left out…?

Yes I do. Had I the numbers now, I would have been given better treatment. But we come with just four MPs. We did not share seats with the Congress in the state elections and we suffered a loss, no doubt. But I am happy because I made historic changes when I became Railway Minister.

You helped Congress in its hour of crisis. But don’t you think it exploited you?

No, I would not say such a thing about Soniaji or our Prime Minister. We were in minority. I have made a lot of mistakes. All the people who were made Prime Ministers by my support ditched me. I am a very simple and innocent man that is why I am so relaxed and happy.

You made so many Prime Ministers, but why is it that your name was not even recommended once?

We supported VP Singh, Devi Lal, Choudhary Charan Singh, Gujaral and Devegowda…but its okay if no one recommended my name.

But why do you help people who ditch you?

I trust people. I get moved by their situations. I am like Lord Shiva, simple and compassionate. I can’t help helping people.

This is election year in Bihar. Nitish Kumar is being appeased by the Congress…?

Some people in the Congress are trying to adopt the policy of walking alone. Congress wants to fight alone in Bihar. They are looking at Bihar as an experimental ground. Rahul’s attempt to connect to the masses in the state is a good attempt, but he should not be under any illusion.

Nitish was never a powerful leader. Everyone supported him to snatch power from me. Whatever image of Bihar’s development he is projecting is all false. How can Bihar post 11% growth when the Centre that pumps money into the state, did not grow by more than 8%?
But he keeps saying that you are like his elder brother and you did not win the elections because people realized that you are not doing much for them?

Nitish is an individualist. He thinks only about himself. He can butcher anyone to serve his own interests.

Rahul and Nitish look upon Barack Obama as their role model. Who is yours?

Obama is US’s president and the politics there is entirely different from ours. We have a very complicated political system here.

Does Rabri Devi question your political mistakes?

She never questions my decisions. She is a saintly lady. She is an ideal wife. She never wanted to be the CM, in fact she went all the way to Raj Bhavan and came back crying.

Do you want your children to join politics?

I have two sons and seven daughters. But none of them are interested in politics. In fact my sons become angry if I give them this suggestion.

What is your future in Bihar?

We will come to power this time. We will form a government with Mulayamji.

Adaptation: Smita Mishra