‘One can’t survive by being anti anyone. We don’t restrict ourselves to any one grouping’
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In this Idea Exchange, JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav talks about the reasons behind his party's exit from the NDA, the RSS hold over the BJP and the road ahead for the JD(U). This session was moderated by Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra
Vandita Mishra: It is a fact that the JD(U)'s decision to quit the NDA is directly related to Narendra Modi's elevation in the BJP. So why is it that both you and Nitish Kumar have refused to name him? Is it part of a strategy? Second, it is being said that the party did not support Nitish's decision. Even Jaya Jaitly has said in an article in The Indian Express that you too were not in agreement with Nitish.
There were many reasons behind the decision to part ways with the BJP. The JD(U) was a national party when it joined the NDA 17 years ago. But with time, we shrank. Our alliance in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh broke. We were not growing in the alliance. As far as Gujarat is concerned, we always had our reservations. The senior partner (BJP) needs to understand the feelings of its allies. Things were smooth in Bihar but over the last year, they took a turn for the worse. We fought the Maharajganj by-election as allies but the effort needed to win the seat was not put in. The seat went to the RJD.
Vandita Mishra: But when Nitish announced the decision to pull out of the alliance, the reason he gave was that an authoritarian, dictatorial style of leadership had come up in the BJP. It was clear that he was talking about Modi. So why not name him?
What Nitish said is true. We do not name him (Modi) because he was never an issue within the framework of the national agenda that governed the NDA for 17 years. We always found him outside the national agenda's framework.