Critics of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav will be “khamoshed” (silenced) when results for Bihar assembly polls are declared on November 10 as the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is headed for a “landslide” win, senior Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha said on Tuesday. The actor-turned-politician also said personal attacks were being made against the grand alliance’s chief ministerial candidate by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders as they were “totally rattled” by Yadav’s well-thought and researched promise of providing 10 lakh jobs to the youth of Bihar.
In an interview with PTI, Sinha said the “writing on the wall is clear” that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ will be ‘maha vijayi’ (grandly victorious) as everyone can see the attraction and euphoria for the grand opposition alliance. “The writing on the wall is absolutely clear, the youth brigade led by our very own, dynamic, most talked-about man of aspirations and expectations, Tejashwi Yadav, along with his young team, is going to form the government with a massive landslide victory of the RJD, the Congress and the Left parties,” he said.
“The success of the grand alliance in Bihar is inevitable because people want that. The kind of euphoria that has been generated by national youth icon Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav, I would say — seeing is believing,” said the former Union minister, who had switched to the Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls after spending several years in the BJP. Asked about the criticism that Tejashwi Yadav was inexperienced, Sinha, in his inimitable baritone while improvising on his trademark dialogue ‘khamosh’, said, “The critics will be totally ‘Khamoshed’ on the day of the election results on November 10.” Sinha, whose son Luv Sinha is also in the fray for the Bihar assembly polls, also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not talking about development issues and said he had often talked about a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’, but the country is now becoming a ‘Congress-yukt Bharat’.
“Congress is a party that has made the maximum contribution to the independence of the country. It has been a party of big leaders. It is an old, gold, bold and beautiful party and you say that you will make a Congress-mukt Bharat, but since you have said this, leave aside Congress-mukt Bharat, it is becoming Congress-yukt Bharat,” he said. “The prime minister is a friend of mine and a guardian of the nation by virtue of being the prime minister. But even once, he has not talked about solutions to problems. Unfortunately, he has not been able to fulfill a single promise made to Bihar. He says will give Rs 1.25 lakh crore package — (but that amounts to) tall talk, hollow promises,” Sinha said.
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Hitting out at the NDA for “taunting” Tejashwi Yadav and allegedly making personal attacks, the 74-year-old Congress leader said the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader’s promise of 10 lakh jobs has “totally rattled them”. The situation is going to get worse because the NDA government is “selling” all the PSUs of the country and Yadav has done such a good thing by raising the issue of jobs in the current scenario, Sinha said.
“But he is being taunted where will the money come from and then Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman makes an announcement about 19 lakh jobs. Where will the money come from for that?” he said. “They (NDA) are totally rattled and the announcement (of 10 lakh jobs) has created a euphoria. This is a well thought out announcement, it is also well researched and made after consulting intellectuals and experts,” Sinha said.
He also criticised Modi for using terms like “jungle raj ka yuvraj” for Tejashwi and asked how would the prime minister feel if someone uses such language against him. “I won’t say, but If someone used such language for him, how would he feel… In Bihar he is talking about China, triple talaq, Article 370, when he should be talking about development, education, health, unemployment, jobs, per capita income, farmers etc,” he said.
Pointing to large crowds Tejashwi is drawing in his rallies, Sinha claimed the crowd for PM’s rallies is brought in busses and trucks, but despite that “thin” attendance was being seen in his public meetings. “The kind of enthusiasm and response you see everywhere for our dynamic leader Tejashwi Yadav and also for the Mahagathbandhan at large… the attraction of the Mahagathbandhan is amazing,” he said.
The prime minister, his people and the Bihar government are not answering any questions raised by any of us, whether it is Rahul Gandhi or Tejashwi Yadav or people like me, said Sinha. Sinha also hit out at those raising questions over Tejashwi’s qualifications and pointed that there was earlier controversy over the prime minister’s qualifications also.
“These are not the issues. You have to answer how come every second person in Bihar is unemployed and how come from every second household, a person has migrated. There is neither infrastructure nor jobs. Health and the education sectors are in shambles,” he said. The youth brigade has come forward as the symbol of Bihar’s expectations and aspirations, and Tejashwi Yadav has inspired confidence among the people, Sinha added.
On Lalu Yadav’s absence from the assembly polls, Sinha said the RJD chief is a mass leader in a true sense and many people feel that he has become a “victim of the conspiracy of political circumstances”. “We hope, wish and pray that we are able to live up to this slogan — ‘Jail ka phatak tootega, Lalu Yadav chhootega (the prison doors will break down and Lalu Yadav will be set free),” he said.