Q. What do you have to say about the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh?
As the elections are moving into their last phase, many things are coming forward. Look, there are 20 years of fights between them. Their workers are not used to co-existing together. Yadavs don’t vote for non-Yadavs particularly, Muslims always say that Yadavs don’t vote for us. For Mayawati, her vote is 100% transferable, her voter is mostly illiterate, they are used to seeing the elephant as their election symbol. When they don’t see an elephant on the EVM, they generally become Hindu and press the lotus.
Q. What are Congress' chances in UP, also with a post-poll alliance with Mayawati? Will she be open to that?
No — I don’t think that a post-poll alliance can happen between the two. Priyanka Gandhi herself has said that their party is going to cut votes. See the situation in Rampur. Noor Bano was not given a seat. She is a senior leader and was in a position to garner more votes but they gave the ticket to Sanjay Kapoor. They have given him the ticket so that he can cut into Hindu votes and this will lead to a loss for BJP.
I am sure that in UP, Congress will win two seats — if they win a lottery, then they could win three seats.
'I was more upset than even Jaya Prada for all the women leaders over the Rampur episode of perverted language.' (Source: PTI)
Q. How do you see Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi as political leaders?
I don’t know Rahul much, but I know Priyanka. She is a lovely and hardworking girl. They will have to learn to de-class themselves first — they will have to forget that they are from the first family of the country. They should de-class themselves — and this word I am quoting from the late PV Narsimha Rao: ‘Royalities are never able to declass themselves', and that is said not in their context but in the Nizam of Hyderabad’s.
After independence, the Nizam's was the richest state but they left India and settled abroad because they could not cope with the fact that the country had attained liberation and they were no longer nawabs.
Q Was Congress late in bringing in Priyanka Gandhi? And who's better — Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi?
I don’t think Congress has delayed in launching Priyanka Gandhi. I think that the style of functioning between Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul is quite visible. I have not seen a single statement of Priyanka Gandhi where she has said, ‘Chowkidar chor hai’. Both brother and sister love each other, let them remain loving with each other.
I am in favour of Priyanka because I have a personal and close interaction with her, I like her, love her, not as a politician but as a personal friend. In a vibrant democracy, opposing a thought or a persona is not a bad thing. Narendra Modi’s emergence happened with one slogan — ‘Maut ka saugadar’. This one slogan gave BJP 15 years of rule in Gujarat.
‘Chowkidar chor hai’ will give Modi another 5 years in power.
Q. You were once a major political player with links across multiple parties and a base in SP. Which party are you comfortable with today?
I don’t feel comfortable with any political party — including BJP. The party is not important. Today, the country needs a leader who can integrate the multiple problems facing our nation and that integration is only possible if you are very straight in your approach and not afraid of taking decisions. The decisions sometimes may be right or wrong but you cannot be a flexi-player, you have to be a hardy boy — and that hardy boy is Narendra Modi.
Q. Now, the Rampur episode has been much discussed. How upset is Jaya Prada? What were your emotions when your friend was referred to in this way?
I was not so upset personally — I was upset for all the female leaders who were holding the flag of humility and modesty, like Jaya Bachchan who cried in Parliament when Nirbhaya was raped. Brinda Karat has always fought for women's reservation. I was upset for all of them. In my opinion, the garments of a lady cannot become a discussion for electoral battles. If you stoop to the level that you discuss such clothing of your sisters, it is perversion.
I was more upset with all these torchbearers of 'women's empowerment' than even Jaya Prada herself. This is sheer hypocrisy — Mayawati made a hue and cry when Dayashankar Singh of the BJP made nasty remarks against her. Mayawati’s femininity is femininity and she is female for herself — but she is not female for the cause.
I don’t think that women should be scared of such nastiness though because women are the strongest species in the world, any woman is more powerful and determined than a man. It is true that women are vulnerable — but they are also very strong.
Q. Who will win Elections 2019 and be the next PM, according to your political experience?
Modi, Modi and Modi — and this is not some psychological fancy. Simply ask yourself a question — there is Modi and there is Rahul. Who?
You don’t have to reply, close your eyes and put this question to your heart — you will get the reply.
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