Rajiv Ranjan, the Janata Dal-United legislator from Islampur assembly seat in Nalanda district, was suspended by the party for anti-party activities on Friday.
A day later, minutes before leaving for the Unites States on a private visit, Ranjan spoke to rediff.com’s M I Khan about the circumstances that led to his suspension.
Why did the JD-U suspend you?
I have constantly been raising the issue of rampant corruption in Bihar. The common people, particularly poorest of the poor, are facing main problems due to corruption in various government schemes. This is the ground reality. An embarrassed party leadership decided to suppress my voice, but that won’t happen.
Even to avail a popular welfare scheme like the Indira Awas Yojna, a poor man or woman has to pay a bribe. In this scheme, officials are demanding and taking a cut of 20 to 25 percent from beneficiaries. How much action has been taken against such officials?
I am a people’s representative. It is my duty to say that the Bihar government has failed to control corruption. I have repeatedly informed and requested party chief Nitish Kumar to take this issue seriously. He is fully aware of it, but has failed to take action. He has no guts.
Was it only the corruption issue that led to your suspension or was there something else?
I am 100 percent sure that the party had taken action against me at the behest of the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad because I raising the corruption issue hurt him badly.
I have been opposing the RJD-JD-U alliance in the state since its inception two months ago.
We have seen two jungle raj in Bihar: first, thanks to Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi’s 15 years rule from 1990 to 2005; second, with Lalu joining hand with Nitish. I strongly feel that jungle raj 2 will be worse than its first.
But you were silent for years. It was only recently that you started raising the corruption issue. Some people in JD-U and outside say your outburst is an outcome of your frustration over not being inducted into Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s cabinet.
This is a baseless argument being put across by some vested interests. People will say anything against me. They are free to say whatever they like.
I am committed to development and my anti-Lalu stand.
After JD-U joined hands with the RJD, both party leaders claimed that there will be a revival of backward castes consolidation that is likely to give clear advantage over a surging Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2015 state assembly polls. What are your views?
There is no question of consolidation of Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Castes in favour of Lalu and Nitish. The time has changed. That was politics of the early to mid 90s.
People have become development-oriented and the mindset of caste loyalty no more works at the ground level. This was evident with the result of the last Lok Sabha polls.
If the by-election result of 10 assembly seats -- which will be known on August 25 -- went in favour of the JD-U and RJD, will you change your stand?
My stand will not change. Where is scope for it? I am confident people voted against the alliance.
Why you are against Lalu? He is still a mass leader and enjoys political clout in the state.
Lalu is a destroyer -- he will again target the social structure and cause it to collapse if he manages to come to power.
Lalu is one who never gets rid of his family interest.
He gets support from 85 percent of his castemen -- the Yadavs -- who are illiterate. The remaining 15 percent, who are literate, are against him.
What about Prime Minister Narendra Modi? You are said to be loyal to him despite being in the JD-U.
Narendra Modi has a quality -- he want to deliver the goods.
In last 10 years of Congress rule at the Centre, the entire system became so corrupt that it is not possible for Modi to deliver instant results.
Modi is trying to do thing in the right direction. Modi is one man who has given hope to the nation and society. He will help people fulfil their inspirations.