Yogendra Yadav: Farm distress, unemployment to be key 2019 poll issues

Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 10:54 IST | PTI

"Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is not an alternative at all to the present dispensation and it has not posed even a single issue so far. It has no policy frame, no vision and no dream at all," Yadav said

Yogendra Yadav: Farm distress, unemployment to be key 2019 poll issues
Yogendra Yadav

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav Friday said his outfit won't be part of any grand alliance, or 'mahagathbandhan', of opposition parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as such a bloc is no alternative to the BJP-led dispensation.

He said rural distress and unemployment will be key issues in the next polls and dubbed the Modi government as "anti-farmer". Yadav said "farmers' anger" ousted the BJP from power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. "Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is not an alternative at all to the present dispensation and it has not posed even a single issue so far. It has no policy frame, no vision and no dream at all," Yadav said.

"This is why our party will not be part of any such alliance," he said, interacting with media persons at an event in the Mumbai Press Club. He said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be fought on the plank of farm distress, an issue which caused the BJP's rout in the three Hindi-speaking states.

"Farmer issues are now at the centre stage in the national political after 30 years. The next election will be fought on rural and farmer distress and if elections take place on these issues, then BJP seems to be in deep trouble," Yadav said. The is the most "anti-farmer" government ever and it doesn't have anything to show in term of achievement, he maintained. Yadav said the next important election issue will be unemployment.

"If the Manmohan Singh government was of jobless growth, then the Modi-led government has been of job-lost growth," he said, adding this is why a big chunk of youths have lost faith in the BJP-led administration. Yadav said in the next Lok Sabha polls, the BJP may win 150-200 seats and "if you think it can get closure to 250, then I don't find any path forward to it". The saffron party had won 282 seats out of the total 543 in 2014. In all likelihood, the Shiv Sena post-poll will support the BJP despite its constant criticism of its senior ally, said the former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.

The 55-year-old political activist said among the three Hindi-speaking states which saw change of government early this month, the Congress posted outright victory only in Chhattisgarh. "Sense of anti-incumbency was strong in Rajasthan and a little less in Madhya Pradesh. In Chhattisgarh, Congress was in a position to offer an alternative government with its promise of a loan waiver and higher MSP for paddy and thus connected with farmer issues," Yadav said. It was "farmers anger" that ousted the BJP government in the three states, the Swaraj India leader said.

Yadav said the BJP entirely banks on 5Ms - Modi, machine (booth-level management), media, money and mandir. Yadav launched his party's nationwide initiative, "ICan19", in Maharashtra, which he said, aims to encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics. "This Indian Citizens' Action for Nation, 2019 (ICan) is like a national election duty for Indians through which one can contribute meaningfully in giving a new direction to the nation's politics," he said.

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