Udit Raj: 'BJP is run by two people, the rest are clerks. The party wants slaves. If you raise your voice, you're attacked'
Udit Raj was denied a ticket in the BJP. Soon, he joined the Congress. Raj spoke with Rohit E David on why he left the BJP, joined the Congress and isn't fighting elections there either.
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Q. You left the BJP because you were not given a ticket — now, the Congress hasn't fielded you. Isn't this a loss for you?
No, what happened is that I had a give-and-take relationship with the BJP. They encouraged my support all over the country and gave me a ticket to fight elections. Now, I have withdrawn my support — and they have taken away the ticket. This has been a no-loss situation for me.
I myself volunteered to Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi that I will campaign — not fight elections. I was offered a ticket by the Congress party to fight elections. But I am taking part in a public rally of Sheila Dikshit. I don’t want anything, neither am I asking for anything.
Leave aside Delhi, I will not fight elections from any other part of the country.
Q. Do you feel that you left BJP a little late?
The BJP cheated me — they would have decided about this seat 15 days or one month before. The only reason why they didn’t decide about this ticket was because of me. On April 23, on the last day of nominations, they declared the candidate’s name. So, were they afraid of one person?
For months, no one was talking with me in the party. Manoj Tiwari assured me and it was because of him that my trust was betrayed. I tried my level best to speak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president Amit Shah — no one spoke with me. After the ticket allocation was done, not a word was said to me.
In the BJP, there are only two people ruling the party — the rest are all clerks.
Everyone follows a circular given to them. I never gave heed to such circulars. There were many occasions when the party’s stand was wrong and I raised my voice.
Being upfront is the only reason I was sidelined — what BJP needs is a person who is deaf and mute.
Udit Raj: 'Only two people run the BJP. The rest are all clerks. They have to follow circulars. But I never did' (Source: PTI)
Q. Did you not agree with your former party’s ideology?
I never agreed on BJP’s ideology.
My joining BJP was not wrong — they gave me a ticket, I gave them votes, so that I can speak in Parliament. My aim was to reach the Lok Sabha and speak about issues related to Dalits — which I did. Babasahab Ambedkar agreed and disagreed with the Congress and yet, he went with the Congress party. He used the platform for the betterment of people. I have also done the same thing.
Q. In reality, have all political parties actually sidelined Dalit leaders?
I feel that in the Congress, there are different voices. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was present, at that time, people from all walks of life could speak. Now, the BJP is following polarisation politics and pitching one against the other, Muslims against Hindus and so on.
Q. Did you speak with your constituency when you decided to be part of the Congress?
Before joining Congress, I had spoken with everyone — my following is intact.
Q. What do you have to say about Congress' performance in the elections this year?
We will win all seven seats. You see when the results come. I feel that in Delhi, the fight is between AAP and Congress — BJP is out of the race.
Q. In UP, who will Dalit groups vote for?
Dalits will vote for the gathbandhan. The SP-BSP alliance will finish the BJP in UP and the Congress will gain out of this.
If BJP doesn’t do any foul play, then they will not get more than 10-12 seats.
Q. Have attacks against Dalits actually risen under the BJP?
If you want to be slaves of BJP, then it's fine with them — but the one who speaks, he is attacked.
Gujarat is a perfect example — Dalits are beaten up, their moustaches are cut, if you have a horse, you can be killed.