'Scores of important BJP MLAs are in touch with Akhileshji, but he has very humbly said that the SP's doors are now closed to BJP MLAs and leaders.'
"Yogiji completely handed over the reins of decision-making to a select few leaders and bureaucrats; he excluded the majority and their voices from the decision-making process. Such leaders and political parties always fail in the end," Roshan Lal Verma, a three-time MLA from Uttar Pradesh who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the Samajwadi Party, tells Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com.
The concluding segment of a two-part interview:
Aren't you hurling allegations against Yogi Aditynath now because you have jumped ship and joined the SP? Do you have any proof that you met the UP CM to raise your concerns, but he neglected your pleas?
There are so many official letters that I have written to Yogiji. But show me one instance where Yogiji took action or cognisance of my complaints. Zero. He just kept neglecting people who raised issues of the poor and Dalits.
Ask any BJP MLA who has shot such letters to him if Yogiji replied to their missives. Let Yogiji show even one such letter that he responded to the grievances raised by BJP MLAs. Everybody in UP (BJP) is so fed up of his dictatorial ways.
Don't you think (Samajwadi Party President) Akhilesh Yadav will show a similar attitude if he captures power in UP? You will then feel suffocated again after five years.
I have been in politics for 40 years now. I know what I am doing. You will see how under the SP the Dalits and OBCs and the oppressed masses will get justice and their rightful share in the power structure. Just wait and watch.
Did you or any other BJP MLA bring what you call the UP CM's dictatorial traits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's notice?
No. Do you know how many layers and power structures in BJP one has to go through to have the prime minister's ear? Given how Yogiji is allowing a few people to run his government, that's impossible.
From where is the SP giving you a ticket to contest the 2022 UP election?
I have been a three-time elected MLA from Tilhar. I have been elected to a number of small and big positions in my constituency since the last 30-35 years.
I will contest this election too from Tilhar and you talk to me when the results are declared on March 10.
Be it the BJP, BSP, AAP or Congress, the people of Tilhar will ensure that everybody contesting against me from here will lose their security deposit.
The second-in-command in the UP government, Suresh Khanna, has always used underhand means to win elections. I openly challenge Suresh Khanna if he is such a popular mass leader that he won eight assembly elections, then he must come and contest against me from Tilhar. He will also lose his deposit.
So, your angst is not against Yogi Adityanath, but just one man from the BJP, Suresh Khanna?
Not just Suresh Khanna, but the entire cabal he has spawned to perpetrate his power and obstruct the emergence of other popular leaders in the UP BJP.
This power structure within Yogi government ensured that only their yes men get elected to all the posts within my assembly constituency.
Is Suresh Khanna overshadowing you at Yogi Adityanath's behest?
No, it is the doing of just one man, Suresh Khanna. He doesn't want other leaders to get popular in the BJP.
Aren't you quitting the BJP just for one man?
Yogiji ne suni kahan hamari? (I complained to Yogiji so many times about this man, but he did not care to act against him).
If Yogi Adityanath acts against Suresh Khanna, will you reconsider your decision?
This situation wouldn't have arisen if Yogiji had listened to our woes and helped find a solution.
How many seats do you give the BJP in 2022?
Akhileshji will be sworn in as chief minister for the second time after March 10.
But how many seats will the BJP win?
We (SP) will form a full-majority government. The SP will win more than 250 seats in UP this time.
What will be the main reason for the BJP's defeat in UP this time?
I have already underlined the issues that will prove to be the BJP's waterloo in UP. Their neglect of all the oppressed sections will ensure that the people of UP will send the BJP and its leaders back home.
The unemployed youth in the state will ensure BJP MLAs don't have enough work after March 10.
While in power Yogiji completely handed over the reins of decision-making to a select few leaders and bureaucrats; he excluded the majority and their voices from the decision-making process.
Such leaders and political parties always fail in the end.
Let me tell you this. There have been scores of important BJP MLAs who are in touch with Akhileshji, but he has very humbly said that the SP's doors are now closed to BJP MLAs and leaders. Yet these BJP MLAs are eager to join SP.
Are you feeling less suffocated now that you have quit the BJP and joined the SP?
Ek dum free bird hai hum ab (I am a free bird now). There is no pressure on me or my conscience.
My conscience knows I have done the right thing by quitting the BJP and joining the SP.