(As told to NDTV.com's Manish Kumar)
Jai Bhim, Jai Mandal.
As one of the most important general elections since independence approaches, I thought of engaging with you all through this medium as well. I don't want to remind you all that the nation and its people have suffered enough hardships at the hands of the flag-bearers of kamandal politics under the captainship of Shri Narendra Modi in the last 56-57 months. For the people and communities on the margins, particularly the SCs/STs and OBCs and minorities facing an acute existential crisis, finally, it's time for hope after months of despair. They are committed to acting in solidarity by throwing this anti-poor, anti-women, anti-Dalit and anti-minority and anti-backward government into the dustbin of history.
In spite of all kinds of insinuations and wild accusations, I congratulate and compliment the resolute determination and unflinching commitment of Mayawati-ji and Akhilesh-ji for the manner in which they stitched their alliance to ensure sleepless days and nights to Amit Shah-ji and Narendra Modi-ji. You have brought the subalterns together on one platform and we shall do the same very soon in Bihar.
Let me tell you that behind the scenes, the BJP's Dirty Tricks Department was being used in the familiar and predictable pattern to persecute top opposition leaders. They thought that the fear-factor would make sure that such an alliance between two powerful parties does not take place. Modi-ji and Amit Shah-ji were so sure of their tactics and had so much confidence in their alliance partners such as the CBI, ED and IT that their cheer-leaders in the media had started announcing the burial of the alliance even before it could take shape. The agencies being misused is not news - in the elections of several states like Delhi, Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, the opposition was not fighting the much-hyped panna pramukhs but these agencies. It only exposed the sheer desperation and hopelessness amongst the top BJP leadership!
Looking beyond UP, one finds that across states and social constituencies and social groups, there is a renewed commitment to change the government which has caused such a disaster whether it is jobs, the macro aspects of economy or the issues of safety and security of common people. It gives an unambiguous signal of the countdown for the current regime. Modi-ji thrived on the idea of divided opposition in 2014 and thought things would remain the same. However, the index of the matured opposition unity is making him nervous. He has to worry not just about losing the election but also disasters like demonetization and Rafale-like scandals.
Barring Nitish Kumar, who has mortgaged his self-respect to seek protection in a corruption scam has decided to be a Yes Man for Modi, all other allies elsewhere are standing up to the BJP. But Nitish chacha bent so much before those 56-inches that he could not even meekly ask for upgrading Patna University into a central university. Interesting is to note that even older allies much older than Nitish-ji such as the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are setting their own terms to the syndicate of 2.5 people running BJP.
People and parties with self-respect have decided that they shall have no association with BJP and as a result of which three significant allies - Kushwaha-ji , Manjhi-ji and Mukesh Nishad - have decided to join us.
While we derive our strength from the pain and suffering of 'We the People of India', Nitish-ji and the BJP will have to answer about the unfulfilled promises. They will have to answer about farmers' plight and agrarian distress. They shall have to answer the pain and suffering of those vulnerable girls in the Muzaffarpur shelter home for whom the state was the guardian. They shall have to answer the families of the victims of mob-lynching. They shall have to look at millions of young people who were promised with jobs and instead are told to sell pakodas. The list is unending...they have so much to answer in each public meeting. Can the JD(U) and BJP show us one project which was conceived by their government and implemented? I hope wisdom prevails and they don't count disastrous demonetization or GST which has caused damage to the economy beyond repair. Or I hope they don't mention - cow protection which has wreaked havoc and disturbed the peace prevailing in the society.
While I am aware of our strengths, I'm equally aware of the fact that Modi-ji and his entire team will fight the power and strength of our Mahagathbandhan with three Ms: money, mandir and (manipulated) machines. But in a democracy, when people turn against you, no amount of coercion, corruption and connivance of central agencies can save you. Minorities, farmers, OBCs, tribals, Dalits are up against this government for systematically persecuting them and making sure that their rights are denied. Take it from me...it is time for you all to pack your bags and make way for a progressive people's alliance to take over. Kamandal politics cannot win the most decisive battle of the people of India.
Jai Hind, Jai Bheem, Jai Mandal.
(Tejashwi Yadav is leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly and RJD's chief ministerial candidate for 2020.)
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