Janata Dal United (JDU) Chief Sharad Yadav is nowadays on campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh to canvass voters. He is attending at least 4-5 public meetings every day. Speaking to Dainik Jagran, Yadav opines that no party is going to win absolute majority and the state is heading towards a hung assembly leading to a coalition government. He, however, said that a coalition government happens to be better for people.

Q. What kind of poll-results do you expect after the elections?

A. No party will get absolute majority after the elections.

Q. Then in that scenario, there will be the President’s Rule in the state?

A. It won’t be like that. There will be a coalition government in place.

Q. What good a coalition government will do for the state?

A. Do you think the present BSP regime did any good to the people of the state? I have firm belief that only the coalition governments can serve better for the people.

Q. On what ground do you think so?

A. Absolute majority of the BSP in the state assembly allowed Chief Minister Mayawati to behave like an autocratic ruler. Had there been a coalition government in the state, it would not have been possible for the Chief Minister to play duck and drakes with public money by wasting it on construction of elephant statues. It is only the coalition government in the Centre which has kept the Congress party restrained.

Q. Then why didn’t you take your coalition partner BJP on board for contesting assembly elections in UP?

A. We fought many previous elections in past by joining hands with the BJP. Even this time my party didn’t want to go alone. But nowadays the decisions taken by the BJP leadership are quite different from those taken during Atalji’s time.

Q. Is there any threat to the existence of NDA?

A. No. I don’t think so. Just hope that the contours of NDA by the next general elections will be much wider than what it is now. BJP leadership will learn a lesson after the elections.

Q. In case of hung assembly after UP elections, whom will you support to form the new government?

A. The decisions in my party are not taken by a single person. The national committee of our party will take a call over it after the elections.

Q. Your main thrust was on allotting tickets to the candidates with clean image. How did the candidates with tainted background get tickets of your party?

A. There is no place for tainted people in our party. Even then, it might be possible that some tainted people might have got party tickets. Actually, the decisions to nominate party candidates were taken in haste. Actually, many people of controversial background had contacted us to seek the party tickets but we embraced none of them.

Q. What will be the position of the BJP after the elections?

A. Actually, all the parties are on our target. But one thing is clear that the BJP will not be either on number one or number two position.

Q. Which parties do you see as the front runner in the race to grab power in the state?

 A. The SP and the BSP will be the front runners in the race. The Congress is targeting SP and BSP, but the same party which is leading UPA government at the Centre has accepted support of them (SP and BSP).

Q. Don’t you think that the caste and religion are the issues which are dominating poll campaigns in the state?

A. Caste system perpetuates for many generations and it is not going to disappear so early. To break the boundaries of caste and religion, inter-caste marriages should be promoted and those who get into such relationship should get preferences in government jobs.

Q. Does the issue of development have any relevance?

A. It has relevance. But it is not possible to get people’s mandate in the name of development only. However, we are voted back to power in Bihar on the issue of development.

Q. Even the Congress too is seeking support of the people in the state in the name of development?

A. The Congress has ruled over the state for four decades. It did no good to the people of the country during its 55 years of ruling. It can’t do any good to the people of the state.

Q. Should there be any age limit for the politicians for their retirement?

A. No. Politics is actually service to the people which should be done till the last breath.

Q. Who will be benefited by the Congress’ minority-quota-card?

A. Nobody. Allotting sub-quota to minorities within quota for OBCs is unconstitutional.

Q. Is there any impact of Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev?

A. Both of them have failed to make any impact on UP elections. We have been raising the issue of corruption and black money since long.