After being dropped from the Bihar cabinet, Mukesh Sahani says he will decide his future course of action after June 2023.


New Delhi: Mukesh Sahani, founder of the Vikassheel Insaan Party, was once considered a blue-eyed boy in the political landscape of Bihar with both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and United Progressive Alliance (UPA), offering him good number of seats, but his sacking from the Bihar cabinet has raised the question of his survival in state politics. The Sunday Guardian talked with him to know why he was removed from the Bihar government and what will be his future plans in politics. Excerpts:
Q: What was the reason for your removal from the Bihar cabinet-led by Nitish Kumar? Your induction in the Bihar National Democratic Alliance (NDA) before the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls was called a game-changer and now this sudden removal?
A: I am also thinking about the same. Those who removed me from the Bihar government or played a role behind the scenes can only answer. But, what I feel is that many people in Bihar and New Delhi are scared due to my outreach among the Nishad community which has a substantial population in Bihar and other parts. Even during my tenure as minister, funds to my ministry were blocked by the finance ministry to stop me from helping my community. Now, people of Bihar will give answer to those who did this conspiracy against me.
Q: What is your future road in politics? Are you thinking about an alliance with Chirag Paswan and other parties?
A: I and my party will take any decision after June 2023. There are two years left for the 2024 parliamentary elections. The way I was removed from the ministry had hurt the sentiments of my community. Now, I will go to the blocks and villages to get justice. I will tour the state and will activate my cadre and organization. My motive is to strengthen the party in such a way that in the next few years, we are ready to fight on all the seats of the state. As far as alliance is concerned, all options are open for me.
Q: Are you unhappy with Nitish Kumar, the leader of NDA in Bihar. He recommended your removal from the Bihar cabinet?
A: I am not unhappy with Nitish Kumar because power is not with him, BJP has real powers. Nitish Kumar had categorically stated that he is removing me from the state cabinet on the suggestions of the BJP. Hence, I am not angry with him.
Q: Since the last six months, many statements have been made against you by the leaders of your own community like Lok Sabha member from Muzaffarpur Ajay Nishad. Is it a plan is to discredit you?
A: It is an old plot. Dummy people were created by the BJP to tarnish my image. These people are employees and not leaders of our community. I also know how to reply in their language, but I can understand their problem. These people do politics for their son and family; if they would not speak against me, then they might not get parliament ticket in 2024.
Q: Janata Dal (United) also fought Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, but their alliance with the BJP is intact in Bihar, don’t you feel as your party is small, you were targeted?
A: Yes, it’s true. I had only four MLAs in Bihar, while the JDU had 43 MLAs, the government would have fallen if any action would have taken against them. I was a soft target.
Q: You are fighting the Bochaha Assembly by-elections. What are your expectations in this bypoll?
A: I am travelling in the Bochaha Assembly constituency. We are fighting this bypoll strongly. It is not right for me to predict what will be the outcome of this by-election now. But, I can just say that the results will be surprising.