Shalini Yadav: 'PM Modi should lose in Varanasi. It's overflowing with garbage, people don't even have drinking water'
Shalini Yadav will contest in Varanasi against PM Modi for the Samajwadi Party (SP). Speaking with Rohit E David, she discussed Varanasi and how only the 'gathbandhan' is giving the BJP a tough fight, the Congress having failed completely.
- Total Shares
Samajwadi Party fielded Shalini Yadav from Varanasi parliamentary constituency against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She is the daughter-in-law of former Rajya Sabha Deputy chairperson Shyam Lal Yadav. Yadav spoke with Rohit E David on fighting against Prime Minister, if Priyanka Gandhi contests from Varanasi and her chances in this battle.
Q. You're up against PM Modi in Varanasi. Is the Samajwadi Party making you a scapegoat?
Do you really think so? As a newcomer, I have joined politics recently. My family comes from a political background. I can say that I have received a platform, I don’t think you should call it being a scapegoat.
They have given me a big chance to come into the limelight and make my issues visible — it’s an advantage for me. I will definitely be able to stand against the Prime Minister. I will give Modi a very difficult and hard fight. He will find it hard to win as I’m confident of winning.
There are so many issues in Banaras — no one is talking about that, only Rafale is being talked about. Why is no one speaking about the issues related to the constituency? Go and see the city through, say, Swachh Bharat — the agency concerned is not able to pick up garbage properly in the city. They have tagged this as a 'smart city' — but there is not enough drinking water. What people are getting is polluted water — everyday, ordinary people here are protesting that they are not even getting drinking water.
There is sewer overflow, the Ganga is polluted, only some cosmetic development work has been done. This city is breaking records when it comes to pollution.
In the last five years, when PM Modi came to Varanasi, the common people were never given access to him. Students protest against him — he turns his back on them and they are lathi-charged. This MP doesn’t give access to common people. He only speaks about giving money to the city and that too, through television.
Q. There is a possibility that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Varanasi — how do you see the fight then?
If someone has stopped the BJP, it is the ‘gathbandhan’. If BJP are swept away from UP, then they are gone from the country too.
Let anyone come, be it Priyanka Gandhi or any other candidate, only the ‘gathbandhan’ is capable of giving BJP a hard fight.
Q. You have recently come from the Congress to the Samajwadi Party yourself — why this sudden change?
Well, the Congress had spoken about giving reservation to women during elections. How many tickets has the party given women candidates? Only about 12%.
At the same time, Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik have given 40% tickets to women, being regional parties. The whole issue of the Congress was that they had drifted away from their ideology. When you give tickets to corrupt people, how can you say ‘chowkidar chor hai’?
'Only the ‘gathbandhan’ is giving a tough fight to the BJP. Congress has failed miserably' (Source: Twitter)
Q. Do you see the possibility of an alliance with the Congress after the elections?
Only the ‘gathbandhan’ is giving a fight to the BJP. This matter, we can’t discuss right now. I feel that Sonia Gandhi had the gift of making alliances — which is lacking in Rahul. It was the responsibility of the Congress to get into an alliance.
Have a look at the BJP now — how they are holding their allies together.
Congress has failed on this front.
Q. Isn't it true that without the SP-BSP alliance, the SP would have been wiped out in the state?
This is not true. It’s only Akhilesh Yadav’s work that speaks for itself. People criticised this saying it was a party of corrupt people and ‘bahubalis’ — but he has sidelined them. This has happened ever since Akhilesh Yadav took over the party.
Q. But SP still has leaders like Azam Khan? Your thoughts on the controversy there?
What he said is not right — no one should speak like he did against any woman. I strongly condemn such words.
Q. Azam Khan’s son meanwhile has said that there are 300 EVMs which were apparently not functional — your thoughts?
There is definitely some issue with the EVMs — why do all votes go to one party?
I believe that ballot papers should make a comeback to make the electoral process more transparent.