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Interview: Dr Manoj Kumar Jha - the troubleshooter for Lalu Prasad Yadav & the RJD
While many people call him the troubleshooter for Lalu Prasad Yadav, some call him the think-tank of the RJD. It's a fact that Dr Manoj Kumar Jha is an intellectual of high standing who is fighting against the ideological designs of the RSS head-on nationwide.

We met the much talked about national spokesperson of the RJD and associate professor at Department of Social Work, University of Delhi to understand the politics of Bihar and the big picture of 2019.

Here are excerpts from the Interview:

Question: Sir, politics of Bihar changed drastically, after you famously wrote that within 33 minutes, Nitish Kumar, the man who talks about "Sangh Mukt Bharat is now chanting Sangh Yukt Bihar". After this unprecedented event where do you see the RJD in particular and the politics of Bihar in general?

Answer: Yes, I wrote about this 33 minutes time where the man who said that I would love to decimate but never join the BJP, goes on to form an alliance with the BJP. It poses a big question on the democratic mandate. I can say that it was unprecedented and never in the history of the world, has such a robbery of electoral mandate been witnessed. It is shocking that the party which badly lost the election formed government. This step was a blow to the mandate and trust of the common people. After this step by Nitish ji, parties will even hesitate to form alliances and voters of India will not trust the parties. Nitish ji after breaking the alliance was saying that Tejashwi ji was the issue but before that he never asked Tejashwi ji to resign. This type of hypocrisy showed by Nitish Kumar is dangerous for democracy itself.

Question: Sir, I remember 1996 when Kuldeep Nayyar wrote that Lalu Prasad Yadav is the king-maker of Indian politics. He was instrumental in making IK Gujaral and HD Devegowda as Prime Ministers. Is it possible that Lalu Yadav will assume that role again as many political pundits believe that in the 2015 Assembly elections, it was Lalu Yadav who single-handely defeated Narendra Modi? Will Lalu Yadav take the lead in forming the opposition unity in 2019?

Answer: India has changed a lot in the last 21 years. No politician used to call the opposition 'dimak' in those days. And nor did a major portion of media which is the fourth pillar of democracy, favoured the ruling party. The rise of right-wing RSS is a threat to the democratic fabric of the country which has been built after endless sacrifices of our forefathers. Lalu ji, I know is aiming to destroy the right-wing authoritarian regime. We organised the rally in Patna where leaders of many parties came together. Lalu ji is also looking beyond parties. Our aim is to bring the oppressed sections together who are at the receiving end of this authoritarian rule. The last chance to save our Constitution, democratic values, freedom and civil-liberites is in 2019.The fight will be fabulous and the truth is on our side.

Question: Sir, what about Tejashwi Yadav? How will you rate him?

Answer: We work together, the good thing about Tejashwi is that he wants to read, learn and most importantly, he listens to everyone even if someone has a totally opposite view. He is a man with a wide range of ideas, what more a politician needs to be?

Question: Sir, it is said by many who understand politics that the BJP is not going to give JD(U) more than 7-8 seats and out of those two are already with JD(U) and the rest are tough, so the best thing for both Nitish Kumar and the BJP is to hold Assembly elections along with Parliamentary polls of 2019, in that scenario, how well prepared is the RJD?

Answer: I think JD(U) will get 4-5 seats. With the decision of breaking the alliance, Nitish Kumar is in the footnote of Bihar politics. He is a gone chapter of politics. There are two poles in the politics of Bihar. One is the RJD and its allies who represent secular, democratic & socialist values and the other is the BJP and its allies who represent authoritarian, capitalist and anarchical ideas.

Question: Sir, you are a public intellectual of high standing where you see 2019 elections going?

Answer: The election of 2019 is going to be about survival of the values for which India stands for. We need a new script to defeat the RSS, photo copy will not work. In the way neo-liberal policies are being implemented by this regime in the areas of health and education is unprecedented. Our aim should be of possible unity aimed at addressing the grievances of peasants, farmers, youth and all the downtrodden who are suffering due to this government.

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