PATNA: Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha (83) said here on Saturday that he has been trying to “create a strong political centre” in Bihar that will later participate in the October-November assembly elections as a new party to remove the present NDA government led by CM Nitish Kumar from the seat of power.
The two political blocs in the state are the NDA and the Grand Alliance with the Left parties inclined towards it. Sinha said, “We definitely want to create a powerful force, rather a political centre. Only the future will decide if we will be the first, second or the third. Our aim is to remove from power the NDA government led by CM Nitish Kumar.”
However, the state BJP has not taken kindly to the new “leap” that Sinha has taken, as he was once in the BJP and later turned into an inveterate critic of PM Narendra Modi. The state BJP spokesman Prem Ranjan Patel ridiculed Sinha’s new initiative as ‘Mungeri Lal Ke Hasin Sapne!”
Currently, the platform floated by Sinha is a forum, engaged in bringing together like-minded people, leaders and political parties for a sustained campaign for a “better future” of the state. In course, it would take the shape of a political party with a name that would be made public in course, Sinha said.
“We will fight the elections, and fight it very strongly, and will strive to remove the present Nitish Kumar government from the seat of power in the state. He has been CM for the last 15 years, but without achieving much,” Sinha said.
Sinha favoured the traditional style of campaigning, as the campaigning through “digital mode and virtual rally was a costly affair, which only rich and resourceful parties can afford, not the poor parties deprived of money and other resources.”
“In a virtual rally, anyone can talk to 500 people and then make loud claims that he has talked to 1 crore people. The virtual rally is cheating,” Sinha said.
He said only the Election Commission that has “all information” can decide if virtual rally and October-November elections were feasible amid the flood situation and displacement of people, or if the state should have one-day poll, like Maharashtra that is bigger than Bihar and also has “Naxal problem.”
Sinha said that he had been at Patna for the last fortnight discussing the present Bihar situation with various sections of people, including politicians and intelligentsia to cobble up support for his ‘behtar bihar banao’ (make a better Bihar) campaign.
On Saturday, while he was speaking to media persons, political leaders who accompanied him were former Union minister Devendra Prasad Yadav, former minister Narendra Kumar Singh and former MP Arun Kumar, among others.
Sinha said that he would present the other side of the picture of the state under Nitish Kumar every week. He compared Bihar with other states on the scales of human development index (HDI), prevalence of poverty, migration to other states, healthcare and education, per capita income, rural roads, farmers’ monthly income, state’s industry share, law and order, and corruption.