Patna, November 11, 2020:
It is true that the Lok Janshakti Party may have affected the JD(U) tally, says Bhupendra Yadav
What do you attribute as factors that aided your victory in Bihar?
The leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the confidence expressed by the people of Bihar in his ability to deliver Aatmanirbhar Bharat was a major factor. BJP president J.P. Naddaji’s leadership in getting all party workers to go among the people and helping them out in a tough situation like the COVID-19 pandemic kept the people’s support with us.
The performance of all our allies, the Janata Dal (U) [JD(U)], the Hindustan Awam Morcha and the Vikashsheel Insaan Party, also contributed to the victory.
You are now the senior partner in the NDA in Bihar and there is a feeling in the JD(U) that they were hard done by because of Chirag Paswan’s party cutting into their votes and reducing their tally. The BJP, it was felt, did not exert itself to rein in Mr. Paswan.
It is true that the Lok Janshakti Party [LJP] may have affected the JD(U) tally, but the BJP has been very firm throughout the election, via statements by our seniormost leadership, that we disapprove of this move by the LJP. Home Minister Amit Shahji also stated the same in very plain words. We clarified throughout the polls that the NDA was fighting as one and we have been elected back for the fourth time… this shows that the people trusted us.
Are there any second thoughts on Nitish Kumar continuing as Chief Minister of Bihar since the BJP has far outstripped the JD(U) in the tally?
No, there are no second thoughts. It was said during the campaign that Nitish Kumar would be the Chief Minister if the NDA wins, and that remains the case.
The Opposition Mahagathbandhan has accused district officials of aiding in counting fraud in as many as two dozen seats. Your response?
That is just childish behaviour and [they’re] being a sore loser. The election system is full of checks and balances, with observers being brought in from outside the State, who oversee the whole process. A large swathe of voters — women and ordinary people — supported the NDA, and that should be respected. We respect the seats that the Mahagathbandhan got as well.
How do you see the future of Chirag Paswan within the NDA, going forward?
I am not the one to be asked this question. I am no astrologer to see his future but I do know that he has finished his own future.