One of the most vocal voices of Bihar politics and former Minister for Animal Husbandry, Giriraj Singh, is of the view that Uttar Pradesh and Bihar hold the key to Narendra Modi’s Delhi dream and of BJP coming back to power at the Centre after a decade. The senior BJP leader spoke exclusively to Manisha Singh of Zeenews.com about Lok Sabha polls, Modi, Nitish Kumar and much more. Excerpts from the interview.
Ques: Some of the recent opinion polls have shown that BJP is likely to do well in Bihar and get more than 20 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Your take?
Giriraj: I believe that Bihar will throw up a surprising result. This state has given results which has surprised everyone, not once but two times, even though the aspects may have been different - in 1977 and in 1984 and it will again give such a result this time.There are some reasons for this – price rise, corruption, poverty, unemployment, internal security etc. The choice between a helpless PM and a strong PM has pervaded the minds of the people.
Ques: This is the scenario as far as the whole country is concerned. What about Bihar? Nitish Kumar’s government was going on fine, the NDA came back with a huge majority in the state in 2010. Has something gone wrong in the last two years or so?
Giriraj: Nitish Kumar’s double-faced personality has become evident to the people. As far as governance is concerned, when NDA-1 came to power in Bihar, law and order was controlled to a great extent. In NDA-2, especially after we left, loot, murders, rapes are happening. The fear that criminals had, is not there anymore and we are once again going back to anarchism.
Ques: It is said that when you were together, everything was fine but the BJP leaders started seeing all the bad aspects of Nitish’s government after the split with JD(U).
Giriraj: Will people believe whatever we say? People only believe what is the truth and the truth is that today Bihar has become the epicentre of terrorism. We are not saying this. What had not happened till now happened - Bodh Gaya was attacked and Narendra Modi’s rally was attacked.Was it not the failure of the state government? Has BJP done this? Today 30 districts in Bihar have become affected by terrorism and 16 districts have become sensitive.
Ques: But BJP did not rake up these matters before?
Giriraj: See, the same IPC was there in Lalu Prasad Yadav’s time and also when Nitish’s government came into power. But the intent was right. The CM in NDA-2 veered towards appeasement. The CM who was never seen with criminals is today inducting them into his party. He meandered towards vote bank politics.
Ques: Did Hunkar rally help in attracting people towards Modi and BJP?
Giriraj: Nitish Kumar became jealous of Narendra Modi and split with the BJP only because of him. The people saw his double standards. The person who was with the BJP in 2002, the person who shared the stage with Modi in 2003 and praised him, is now saying that 2002 Gujarat riots cannot be forgotten. What is this? When he separated from us, the people became disappointed. …The CM is only indulging in populist schemes. …Political leaders have a misconception that certain castes are with them. The vote is with the people. Today seven out of ten voters want Modi as the next PM of India.
Ques: You are saying that Modi wave is in Bihar too and so, the caste politics or the vote bank politics will not work this time?
Giriraj: Absolutely. The people are tired of appeasement policy and populist schemes. The youth of this country wants employment, good education, conducive environment and development to take place. …Is price rise different for Hindus and different for Muslims? …When people trust you, they give back to you in abundance. When people take it back, they sweep you away with the broom.
Ques: Are Bihar and Uttar Pradesh crucial for Modi to become PM?
Giriraj: I believe that like in 1977, the people of Bihar and UP will repose their faith in Narendra Modi and will give the result. Modi will become the PM and at the centre of it will be, Bihar and UP. Narendra Modi is a person who does not believe in appeasement. He says, appeasement for none, development for all. This is the kind of leader we want for the country.
Ques: Any chance of BJP getting back with the JD (U) in future?
Giriraj: It’s my personal opinion that it’s better not to form a government than to align with such an opportunist person. However, I do not know what the party’s opinion is.
Ques: Why do you often get into controversies? Once you had said that Nitish Kumar will die at the hands of Modi and then you called the Bihar CM a ‘dehati aurat’.
Giriraj: It’s not that I get into controversies. I am the sort of person who accepts his mistakes. I had used the term ‘dehati aurat’ but if someone got hurt by it, then I took it back. But I have maintained that Nitish Kumar is a jealous person and that is not a good thing. Nitish is getting dreams about Modi not only during night but also during daytime. He is scared that he will not be able to do the politics of backward castes anymore. He left the BJP because of prime ministerial ambitions and not because of the 2002 riots.
Ques: Who is the BJP’s face in Bihar?
Giriraj: It is the people who will decide whose face will that be. At present, our 2014 mission is Narendra Modi. Though, our leader in the state as of now is Sushil Kumar Modi.