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Lalu Yadav and Rahul Gandhi abused Bihar's mandate by not sacking Tejashwi: Sushil Modi

For 20 days now RJD and Congress were given a chance by Nitish Kumar was repeatedly asking Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav to give their defence on the charges, says Sushil Modi.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 27, 2017, 10.38 PM IST
Prasad and Tejashwi were belligerent that they would not even offer clarifications, says Sushil Modi.
Prasad and Tejashwi were belligerent that they would not even offer clarifications, says Sushil Modi.
NEW DELHI: Hours after being sworn in as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Modi speaks to ET in an interview...

What will be the immediate priority of the new JDU-BJP government?
Development will be the only priority. This includes improvement in the law and order in the state. When we were in government for almost seven years with the JDU, before which Lalu Prasad had brought Bihar down to a big zero, we brought major changes in every department and Bihar had the highest growth rate. The turnaround we had managed then – that should have continued in future too. But this silisila stopped. Now, the Centre and the state have the same alliance in power after a long time and there will be far more work done. This will greatly help Bihar…we aim to make it the most developed state in the country. Otherwise there used to be always a tussle between the Centre and the state with either party putting allegations on the other for not bringing development to Bihar.

Lalu Prasad has questioned how quickly the new alliance has taken shape and all was pre-planned. He even pointed to PM’s quick tweet.
If it was pre-planned, as Lalu Prasad claims, then why did he not get his son to resign? The pre-planning would have finished with that step. If it is pre-planned, why Rahul Gandhi or Lalu Prasad could not force Tejashwi Yadav to resign? They could have appointed anybody else as the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. Lalu proved nepotism is his biggest love and Rahul Gandhi was in tow. You can call it pre-planned if BJP and JDU formed the government even after Tejashwi had resigned. For 20 days now RJD and Congress were given a chance by Nitish - all was out in the public domain that Nitish Kumar was repeatedly asking Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav to give their safai (defence) on the charges. Prasad and Tejashwi were belligerent that they would not even offer clarifications. So how can it be called a sudden development? Workers and supporters of both JDU and BJP were in favour of the new alliance. When we spoke to our BJP MLAs, each one of them was in favour of the alliance with JDU. On July 11 when JDU spoke to its MLAs, majority of them told Nitish Kumar that they will be destroyed if they stay with Lalu and alliance with RJD must be broken.

Both Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad have called the new alliance a betrayal of the 2015 Bihar mandate, saying the vote was against the BJP
Betrayal of the mandate has been done by those people in the Congress and the RJD who protected corruption or who kept gangsters like Mohd Shahabuddin in their party. Mandate was not for continuance of a particular alliance. Rather the mandate in 2015 was for good governance, anti-corruption and transparency. The people’s mandate was abused the very day when Lalu’s clan refused to even clarify on the barrage of corruption accusations being made against them by agencies like IT and CBI. They damaged their own public perception but are blaming others.

Still questions will be raised on how a new government has been formed within half-a-day. RJD says it should have got an opportunity first
If we had delayed matters, the question would have been that we do not have the numbers hence we are delaying forming the government. The same Lalu Prasad would have then said we are indulging in horse-trading. The Governor gave us 48 hours to prove our numbers but we said we will do the same within 24 hours. We will prove our majority tomorrow. People usually ask for 5-7 days to do so. RJD and Congress have never claimed before the Governor that they have the numbers. The phone call that they made to the Governor never said they had the majority or that they were coming to stake claim. They never submitted any letter of support having a number more than magic mark of 123 MLAs.

Whereas, BJP, JDU and other alliance partners have submitted a letter which says we have support of 131 MLAs. Just citing the SC Bonmai judgement is not enough, do you have the numbers? If a CM is there who says there is an realignment and I have the numbers, how can any other person be called to form the government. At most, RJD-Congress have 107 MLAs – I can tell you, some of them are already in touch with me. No one wants to climb the sinking ship of RJD and their MLAs are saying Lalu had destroyed them for the sake of his family. RJD ministers wanted to remain in power – but due to Lalu’s ‘son-love’, RJD MLA’s to ab sadak pe aa gaye hain.

How do you see the 2019 Lok Sabha election situation now?
Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar, when they jointly campaign in Bihar in 2019, there will be nothing stopping us. 80% of Bihar’s people are happy with the new alliance as they feel Nitish did a mistake by joining Lalu. A big section of the society – be it Dalit, Mahadalit, backward, OBC – they are all for good governance and not the politics of Lalu Prasad. Lalu could fool Bihar’s people once, but he cannot fool them all their life. Lalu was in power for 15 years – he did nothing for the poor. He was out for 10 years and returned now for 2 years – and the same situation emerged again.

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