Misa Bharti, RJD: 'Lalu Prasad is an ideology. They called his govt 'jungle raj'. But what happened in Muzaffarpur Girls Home under Nitish Kumar?'
Misa Bharti, daughter of jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad, is fighting elections from Patliputra, Bihar. Speaking with Rohit E David, Misa discussed her father, reports of a family feud and governance by Nitish Kumar.
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Q. Balakot air-strike was fake, reportedly says your sister and Lalu Yadav's daughter, Anushka Yadav. What’s your view?
I have not seen where she has said it or not. All political parties, including Congress and RJD, are together if anyone sees India with a bad intent. We are only raising questions. The air-strikes which took place was all fine — NDA says that 300 mobiles were there and the exact number of terrorists were killed. How did you count them? Which system did you put in place to count the number of mobiles — and with the same precise system why didn’t you stop the RDX-loaded vehicle? You had a report of NIA with you that soldiers should be airlifted during their movement.
When the government gives numbers, then questions will be asked.
We accept the fact that Balakot air-strikes took place — but the government, Prime Minister and BJP netas should not take credit for it. Army has been doing this work and they will continue to do so.
Q. There are visible rifts between Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav — is your own party going in for a split?
This is all false. There is no difference between the two.
Sushil Kumar Modi’s own son does not stay with his father, he stays in Kolkata. It’s not necessary that everyone should stay together. Now, he is an MLA and he stays amongst his people. This is nothing big and we should not add anything more to it.
'It's not necessary that everyone in a family should stay together. Sushil Modi's son also stays in Kolkata' (Source: Facebook)
Q. What is your view on Mahagathbandhan during this election?
We will have a repeat of the Assembly election results. Mahagathbandhan is strong in the state; everyone is campaigning for each other.
The best part about the alliance is that they are taking up issues which are related to the common person in the state. We have taken up issues like jobs, education, reservations, all being the main concerns in this election. The NDA does not have any issue to fight on against us.
Q. Lalu is not campaigning in this election. How does that impact you?
This is for the first time that during an election campaign that Lalu ji is not with us physically. The party is of the view that Lalu ji is an ideology and not simply a person. With his thoughts, we are going amongst the people of Bihar. His absence has certainly been felt by the party, family members and party workers. With his philosophy, all people who are part of the ‘mahagathbandhan’ believe in his ideology. Our party has been in existence since 1990. Today, we also have become aware of things, how the election campaign should take place, what issues we need to take up amongst the people.
The NDA is fighting the election without any issues, they only rant about ‘mandir’ and ‘Pakistan’. The real issues, like jobs, smart cities, women’s education and security, one pension one rank, you cannot do away with them. In every election, they make new promises — all the previous promises they have made, they never speak about those.
'My father's govt was called 'jungle raj'. But under Nitish Kumar, people are asking, where is the governance?' (Source: Facebook)
Q. What are some of the key issues you have gone into this election with?
My constituency is Patliputra — joblessness is the major issue there. There are youth who are educated and they need jobs, if they want to do anything on their own, they are not getting support from the bank. There is a lack of education in Patliputra. From 1990 to 2005, when RJD was in power, everyone said that it is a 'jungle raj' government — it was a government of the poorest people in the state. It was because of this 'jungle raj' government that in Bihar, seven universities came up — if Nitish Kumar has given an eighth university to the people of Bihar, then he must come forward and speak about it.
Q. How would you rate the governance of Nitish Kumar?
Every second day, there is a murder or loot — there is no law and order in the state. What took place in Bihar’s government-run shelter for girls in Muzaffarpur? They are poor girls — for them, Nitish didn’t even say two words. He has always evaded questions on what happened there.
When Nitish goes out in public meetings, people are asking questions — where are the jobs, women's safety? He's facing the wrath of common people. He is being shown black flags.
Q. Did you get a hint that Nitish was going to leave the mahagathbandhan?
The alliance happened after both the leaders thought that it would be beneficial for the state. Bihar’s people had put their faith in this alliance — they gave us a clear mandate and we came to power in a majority. Even though RJD had more numbers, our neta had committed to them beforehand and he went by his commitment.
Now, of course people are asking Nitish, what is the reason you came out of the alliance?
Q. Isn't ‘mahagathbandhan’ without Nitish very weak?
JD (U) is weak and not us. Their workers are not able to face the people.
On the ground, you won’t even see any of their workers — they are not even asking for votes.