With the political war for Uttar Pradesh raging by the day in the run up to the polls in the state, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav speaks to IBN7 for Teekhi Baat . In a no holds barred interview, Yadav minces no words on her bête noire Mayawati, his stance on Muslim reservation, Samajwadi party’s blow hot – blow cold relationship with the Congress party, his relationship with Ajit Singh and about his son and party scion Akhilesh Yadav.PC: Are you ready for elections
MS: Am fully prepared
PC: Are you or your son fighting elections, tell me the truth.
MS: Neither am I fighting, nor my son, we are making people contest elections.
PC: Which people are you making contest the election?
MS: My brother Satpal Singh will fight.
PC: Who is taking the leadership position in the election?
MS: Samajwadi Party
PC: It is being said that you have decided to rest a bit and let your son take the lead
MS: It is not so. Now the condition is not conducive for me to rest, neither have I gone weak, my health is all right.
PC: Many times decisions are taken from the heart, I have done too much, the politics of our times is over.
MS: I have not got fed up of politics as yet.
PC: Not fed up as yet.
MS: No, not fed up as yet.
PC: People say that Mulayam Singh had taken a decision of allowing Akhilesh take a lead because, Rahul Gandhi, son of Soniiaji Gandhi has come forward in these polls. So, to show that there is a fight between the sons in politics, you took this decision.
MS: This is not my opinion, thinking; neither do I want to get into this issue. Because when the son wanted to come into politics, Akhilesh, then I didn’t stop him, allowed him to be in politics. The result is that he has won Lok Sabha elections three times and I am happy he is elected from the area from where Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia was parliament member.
PC: Akhilesh has won from that area.
MS: Even I had won; I vacated the seat and made Akhilesh fight from the seat.
PC: What do you think, are there any issues in the UP elections, or it is only fought over individuals Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Rahul Gandhi, there are no issues.
MS: No, there are issues. The first issue is that we will provide a clean government and administration. A clean government will be formed, and our priorities will be farmers, labour, poor people, unemployed, youth, students. Whether it be lawyers or traders, we will take everybody with us, give facilities to everybody, is the plan of our party.
PC: That Mulayam Singhji is saying from the start that everybody will be provided with facilities. But at present, is there any cleaner government than Mayawati’s who has removed all corrupt ministers, 15 of them.
MS: That is why the issue is raised, people have realized in their heart, they are fed up now, that the leaders have become corrupt. This fact has been proved by the chief minister who runs the Uttar Pradesh government.
PC: But the chief minister is at least taking action. No sooner the Lokayukta report comes out, she removes corrupt ministers.
MS: It is not action, it is posturing.
PC: Can removing 15 ministers be called posturing. Have you ever removed ministers on charges of corruption, even then there were allegations of corruption?
MS: During our period, there were no allegations.
PC: Are you saying there were no allegations?
MS: If there were allegations levelled against our ministers, we would have not tolerated it even for a day. Now, elections have come near, and they want to show that they are not doing any corruption. They want to show that when they found their people being corrupt, they punished them. The root of corruption is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
PC: Have you started any movement against her.
MS: Those removed were unfairly punished, those were the ones who were earning money and giving (to Mayawati).
PC: She says that
MS: Now please tell me, she had kept Kushwah at her residence. She removed Kushwaha, he was staying at her residence. Why any chief minister keep a minister at her residence?
PC: Many ministers are sitting at her residence every day, in addition to Kushwaha many other also sit at her residence. That is her style of working.
MS: She used Kushwaha, collected (money) by keeping him at her residence; he was the most trustworthy. Now what happened, there must have been a fight over a share of the spoils. People say that there has been a fight over a sharing of the spoils.
PC: There has been a fight over the sharing of the spoils?
MS: It is over sharing of the spoils.
PC: That is why he was removed
MS: That is why he was removed
PC: Now BJP inducted him
MS: Now BJP is looking if they get anybody, somehow to win. Now it has become a weak party, the leaders are not happy, now they are inducting whomsoever they get.
PC: The question is that BSP people, they allege that you are not able to tolerate a dalit woman. Like how a dalit woman became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and she is proving tough on everyone, Congress, BJP, Samajwadi Party.
MS: So, should we stop fighting elections and wind up our party. Are we sadhu sanyasis
PC: One woman has troubled you all
MS: Even Indiraji was a woman.
PC: Then all had come together against her, when Jaiprakashji’s movement started, even you were with him against Indiraji.
MS: It is true, when I saw that dictatorship is dawning upon the country, then we fought against dictatorship with bravery. We were in jail for 19-20 months. And a very dangerous emergency was in force and we fought it, we saved democracy that time. Indiraji had demolished democracy, and forced dictatorship. And it is not a small thing to fight against dictatorship in those times.
PC: You opposed when Indira Gandhi’s Congress brought about dictatorship, which you opposed. I will ask you later about what relations you have with Congress now. Now, I am talking about UP elections, in UP elections, it seems that except for the issue of castes, clan, there is no other election issue.
MS: No Samajwadi party is not into clan and corruption. It is a clean party, there was never a taint on our party.
PC: There is no election issue of corruption there, you people are raking the issues of clan and caste.
MS: How can you say that caste is an issue.
PC: Reservation is being made into an issue.
MS: When we are Samajwadis, and have Samajwadi party, and Samajwadi people don’t believe in caste and clan.
PC: Now you spoke about reservations, that there should be reservation for Muslims. Congress said that Mulayam Singh is not saying anything, how much reservation should be there. Congress said it should be four per cent, you said it is less. Hence you did not make any definitive points about Muslim reservation. You are just saying that reservation should be provided, in Lokpal, in government jobs, you don’t talk of development.
MS: Now we have spoken the most on reservation which has influenced people greatly, we said that there should be 18 per cent reservation for Muslims, instead of 15 per cent. For so many years, the Muslims have remained backward, now it can be reversed when there is 18 per cent reservation for them.
PC: Will you write this in your manifesto
MS: Yes, if our government is voted to power we will give 18 per cent reservation for Muslims.
PC: Why didn’t you provide reservation earlier?
MS: We have always fought for it.
PC: Fought, but did not provide
MS: No, now this is in hands of the central government.
PC: No, like Andhra Pradesh government provided reservation there.
MS: Where was our party alone in power, it was of different people. Many people were part, hence the government was formed. If our government is formed in UP, then with what authority we have and how much reservation we can be according to the laws and constitution, that facility we will give to Muslims.
PC: Hence you are saying that, if it is in your authority, you will give 18 per cent reservation in government jobs to Muslims.
MS: Yes, we will do.
PC: Now you have not announced it as yet.
MS: We have announced it, because they have gone backward, this we are not saying, all the commissions which have been formed by the Congress government have said that. And the report of the commissions have been received by the Congress government, let it be Ranganath Mishra or Sachchar Committee.
PC: Sachchar sahab has recommended
MS: Sachchar committee has recommended. Let the recommendation be of 10 per cent of 15 per cent, I am not concerned with that. But one thing is true that they have done hard work, and found out how backward Muslims have become. And it went to the extent that Muslims became even more backward than dalits, this is written in Sachchar committee report.
PC: Mulayamsinghiji, Sachchar has written that, you are demanded that Muslims should be given 18 per cent reservation. But the Constitution has mandated that reservation should not be more than 50 per cent, then from where would be carve out this 18 per cent.
MS: This is an excuse, the constitution can be amended.
PC: No, it is the Supreme Court’s judgement that reservation cannot be more than 50 per cent.
MS: Now Supreme Court did that, but if the parliament wants, it can amend, the court has not prohibited amendment. Supreme Court has not prohibited amendments by Lok Sabha.
PC: So, can do more than 50 per cent reservation if a government is formed with your help at the centre.
MS: We will certainly do 15 per cent, and will make efforts to make it 18 per cent.
PC: It will be more than 50 per cent, if 27 per cent backward, 18 per cent Muslims, 11-12 per cent scheduled castes, scheduled tribes will take it to 60 per cent.
MS: We will certainly do 14 -15 per cent reservation.
PC: Even by giving 14 per cent reservation, it will be more than 50 per cent.
MS: For taking it up to 18 per cent, we will pass a resolution in the assembly, and we will tell the central government to pass an amendment.
PC: Hence you agree that you do politics, to remain in power in the name of reservation. You demand votes in the name of reservation, whether it be Muslims, or backward, or harijan.
MS: This is wrong. When I was in seventh class I had had food at the house of a backward class and I was banished in social circles for doing that. And in ninth class, I had food at the house of a Jatav, for which I was banished from social circles again, for one month. Hence, I am fighting from the time I was a child.
PC: Mulayam Singh, you never said that there should be reservation for poor, whether he be Muslim or Hindu, Sikh, Christian or backward or scheduled caste. Hence, it seems there should be no reservation or poor people.
MS: I have demanded 10 per cent reservation for upper class poor, in the assembly. And we passed a resolution to the effect and sent it to the government at the centre.
PC: Hence reservation should be for poor people in upper castes, and rich people in other caste.
MS: That is there in the constitution.
PC: That means if anybody is scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, backward, rich people belonging to those castes will get the benefit of reservation.
MS: They are backward.
PC: Why everywhere you don’t have reservation
MS: They have suffered, had no respect in society, and there is poverty, and I have no objection against the ones who have moved ahead. They have to go ahead. But those who have got left behind, should get special opportunity.
PC: Apply income criteria on backward, Muslim, that people above certain income should not get reservation.
MS: This you have to understand, even if people from backward class are rich, but he does not get as much respect, as people from upper caste.
PC: It means that the politics of reservation will go on in this country.
MS: No it is not mere politics of reservation. It is about farmers, jobless people, let them be of any caste. In are Kanyadaan scheme, we had made no distinction on basis of caste, all were given benefit.
PC: On development indicators, Mayawati did a lot of development in UP, made good roads, made statues, but made good parks.
MS: If roads have been built, do a survey, they have been made during our governments time. This government has made no road in five years. Those which have been made, have been destroyed in six months. And even after nine years, the roads made during are tenure are in good shape.
PC: In nine years, four years you were in power.
MS: Out government lasted for quarter to four years. And for five years the present government is running. Now see the roads made by us during our tenure, they are still in good shape.
PC: If your government and politics was good, then why people left you, like Ajit Singh,
MS: Nobody left. Don’t ask me where he goes how and why.
PC: But why you had taken him if you know how many times he goes here and there.
MS: No, we had majority, but he wanted to join us and the love that Chaudhary saab had for us, he made us go ahead, hence it was in my mind that he (Ajit Singh) is his son. I said that he is the son of our leader, hence let him say anything, I will not reply, will give him respect. Hence, for keeping his respect, we kept him (Ajit Singh)with us.
PC: He betrayed you.
MS: Now say it was betrayal or say he went away.
PC: You have no presence in western Uttar Pradesh, you took him so that you can get some votes. You used to depend on him, he did not depend on you.
MS: Now we are not depending on him. And we will not talk about him because he is the son of our leader. If I start saying then there are many things, but I will not say.
PC: Even Rashid Alvi, he was an old timer with you.
MS: When somebody gave Rajya Sabha seat, he left. Earlier he was offered Rajya Sabha, he left, again he got Rajya Sabha seat, he left again. Now, this is betrayal.
PC: Do you think you will get majority.
MS: Certainly, Samajwadi Party will get majority in elections.
PC: But people say you did not project whether Mulayam Singh will become Chief Minister or Akhilesh will become one.
MS: Everybody in the party knows who will become.
PC: Even you tell.
MS: Why should I tell, our whole party worker base knows that who will become chief minister.
PC: It means you have decided who will become chief minister.
MS: The people know.
PC: I am not asking the name, but your party has decided who will become.
MS: It is not decided in our party, it is understood.
PC: It is understood that Mulayam Singh will become.
PC: Nobody other than him can become
MS: That is dependent upon the MLA’s.
PC: Now you are saying MLA’s, earlier you were saying the party has decided. But don’t you feel after many years, in the UP elections, Samajwadi Party has not stars campaigning, no businessmen. Does Mulayam Singh feel it was a fault to get stars and ask votes for you, now only you are asking for votes?
MS: The wishes of the real stars are with Samajwadi party.
PC: Earlier they used to come for voting, they were also you brand ambassadors.
MS: Then I was not alone, there were other people, because of them they used to come and go.
PC: You used to call, hence they used to come. Now you have no need of Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani.
MS: Amitabh Bachchanji has left politics. Hence I will not comment, there will be very few people like Amitabh Bachchan, I know him.
PC: His good wishes are with you.
MS: His good wishes are there, I don’t want to trap him into the political world. But people like him are few in the country.
PC: Let me ask you straight, let say he was Karan, or Arjun, but you are missing Amar Singhiji in the elections.
MS: Now that he had gone, he has gone.
PC: No, he used to help a lot in elections.
MS: Yes he used to help in elections.
PC: Now you may be missing his presence.
MS: Now I have left it to the people, the people will help us.
PC: No, the people will help, but aren’t you missing him.
MS: I will appeal to people, that I have no money, earlier Amar Singh used to collect, which is true.
PC: Amar Singh used to collect.
MS: He used to collect, he used to take donations, he used to be of big help for the party.
PC: Hence you use to depend on him.
MS: Now we are appealing that the people will make our candidates fight elections. I have no money, nor my party, hence you (the people) will make them fight elections. The people will make our candidates fight, I have full faith in the people.
PC: Earlier it used to be said in discussions that Samajwadi Party is a party of big businessmen, capitalists, now it has become real Samajwadi party.
MS: Even then the party was not in the hands of big businessmen and capitalists. Amar Singh was not big businessman, he used to do some small business. He was not a big businessman.
PC: Till now you are with the Congress government which is in power, you are supporting Congress.
MS: That we are supporting, you know, we are doing that because, we have to stall communal forces.
PC: Now like Rahul said something about Akhilesh, hence you have enemity and friendship both. Hence, it can be labelled opportunism, as, BJP cannot come to power now, hence, your argument of stalling communal forces does not stand.
MS: Now we are supporting the Congress to stop the BJP from coming to power. It is true that the Congress is not doing good behaviour with us, but we are doing politics of principle. Hence, even if they don’t look after us, we stand by our principle.
PC: They keep on slapping you, even then you are standing with folded hands in front of them.
MS: No issues, they are against us.
PC: Then why are you supporting them.BJP government cannot be formed now in the centre, they have 114 MP’s how can their government be formed.
MS: No, no, there are parties supporting them.
PC: 150 total
MS: Not 150, it is more.
PC: 160, even if you add your 20, even there the government cannot be formed.
MS: No, no, it could have been formed. Many parties could have gone with them, I will not unnecessarily take their names and annoy them. Many parties could go with them.
PC: If you withdraw support, then the Congress government will fall, but the question is that you don’t want to make the government fall.
MS: Now why to make the government fall when the elections are coming near.
PC: Elections are in 2014.
MS: There are only two years left for 2014.
PC: Hence you will not withdraw support.
MS: No, we will not withdraw support.
PC: Till 2014, you will not withdraw support to the Congress
MS: Till 2014 will not withdraw support.
PC: Will you take their support to form a government in UP.
MS: Now we are fighting alone, Samajwadi Party is fighting elections alone on its own strength.
PC: If you don’t win majority
MS: The imaginary question that you have posed, what answer will I give to that.
PC: The condition is that you will not get majority.
MS: We are in such a position that we will get clear majority.
PC: Earlier, it (majority) did not come, so if it does not come this time, then Congress doors are open?
MS: This will be thought later, but we have full confidence that the people will give us clear majority.
PC: You can take anybody’s support, except BJP’s and BSP, to form government.
MS: We will get clear majority, hence we will not need anybody’s support.
PC: No, to keep communal forces out, you will help anybody to form the government.
MS: No, our government will be formed, it will be of Samajwadi party.
PC: This is a imaginary, that your government will be formed. Now I am asking another imaginary thing, if you don’t get majority, what you will do.
MS: We are among people and have understood that people will fully support Samajwadi Party.
PC: Now I ask you the last question, if you don’t get majority in the elections.
MS: We will get majority.
PC: If it (majority) does not come, will it be Akhilesh’s or your defeat.
MS: We will get majority.
PC: If it does not come, then whose defeat would it be, party’s or Akhilesh’s
MS: Then it will be our party’s.
PC: Let’s see, our good wishes are with you, thank you for coming to our studio.
MS: Thank you Prabhuji !