UP govts' failure created space for new leadership: Shri Jayant Chaudhary
'UP govts' failure created space for new leadership: Shri Jayant Chaudhary'
Although he is still under the shadow of his powerful politician father and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh, Jayant Chaudhary is desperate to make his own niche in the political arena of UP. The 32-year-old RLD MP from Mathura, therefore, has jumped into the fray from Mat constituency of his parliamentary seat. In a conversation with Pankaj Shah, he discusses his party's strategy for the forthcoming state poll. Excerpts:
Why the decision to contest UP elections? You are already an MP.
In our federal structure, states are empowered to create and implement policies on issues that are relevant for the people. In UP, the failure of successive governments to deliver on the most basic aspirations of the people has created a political space for new voices and leadership. And I am one of it.
Do you plan to play a role in UP politics .. may be a minister if voted to power?
As for my role in UP, I can't at this juncture comment on the future possibilities. But my judgment of the situation on the ground indicates that the Congress-RLD combine will provide a new vision and direction to the state and I would want to be a part of that process.
How is the RLD-Cong pact working?
In terms of coordination at the level of workers, I do not see any issues as members of both organizations realize that through this alliance they are working towards a larger vision.
How many seats do you expect this alliance to lap up in the elections?
I would not like to talk in terms of number of seats as it is in the hands of voters.But I am confident the clear desire of the people to vote for change and establish a progressive state government creates an opportunity for Cong-RLD alliance.
What is your stand on 4.5% minority reservation among the OBCs? To what extent it will elevate the position of Muslims.
We can no longer behave as ostriches and bury our heads in the sand on the issue of our reservation system. Several deserving groups are not getting the benefit of this system. Therefore any change in the system that enables a wider access for the most backward elements must be welcomed. My party's manifesto way back in 2000 had spoken about our desire to see the Muslim groups recognized as backward in the Mandal formula. While this move benefits minorities in the central services, we have committed to the people that our government will look at categorization within the backward quota in an objective and scientific manner so that the most backward castes, including Muslim groups, get the full benefit in the state services.
The issues of reservation for Jats in Central services is still hanging. Your take on that.
That is an issue that I have raised in the LS and our party has supported at various platforms. There is some confusion on the issue; it is not as if the Jats are asking for something new - they are already classified as backward in most states in which the population resides. They are simply asking that if a Jat is considered backward when applying for a state service, say in Noida, then why not in our Central services when he comes to the national capital?
Do you foresee SP joining the RLD-Cong alliance after polls? If yes then what will be your reservations?
I cannot say what will happen in the future, but am taking our own aggressive and development-oriented message to the people. The Cong-RLD alliance is competing on every seat in the state. The kind of governance and politics that has been on display in our state for many years including the state government run by the Samajwadi Party no longer inspires confidence in the people. You can say that RLD was a part of the previous Government, but you should note that we were a small minority partner and had quit the government because of the widespread discontent. This time I am confident that the RLD will have a larger role and the alliance will give strong leadership to the people.
People see you as a very promising young politician. What will be your priority if voted to power? Anything for the youth?
The youth does not exist in isolation, so I think the basic issues that confront society affect the youth as well. I think that as a first step, the government will have to create a stable and safe environment for investors, entrepreneurs and all citizens. Through a wide consultation with economists, experts, industry and the people, we need to create a vision statement for UP.
Would you favour private investment in various sectors like agriculture?
Sure. I am for promoting private investment in some key sectors like food processing so that employment opportunities can be created at the rural level. Also, our agriculture-related infrastructure like mandis, irrigation, storage etc needs investment. Rural electrification is another sector which needs private investment. We will, if voted to power, launch an ambitious programme to electrify non-grid connected rural areas through decentralised renewable energy technologies and village mini-grids through Private Public Participation mode.
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