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

Mumbai: Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav Friday saidhis outfit won’t be part of any grand alliance, or ‘mahagathbandhan’, ofopposition parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as such a bloc is noalternative to the BJP-led dispensation. He said rural distress andunemployment will be key issues in the next polls and dubbed the Modigovernment 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 andit has not posed even a single issue so far. It has no policy frame, no visionand no dream at all,” Yadav said.

“This iswhy our party will not be part of any such alliance,” he said, interactingwith media persons at an event in the Mumbai Press Club. He said the upcomingLok Sabha elections will be fought on the plank of farm distress, an issuewhich caused the BJP’s rout in the three Hindi-speaking states. “Farmerissues 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 electionstake place on these issues, then BJP seems to be in deep trouble,” Yadavsaid.

The is themost “anti-farmer” government ever and it doesn’t have anything toshow in term of achievement, he maintained. Yadav said the next important electionissue will be unemployment. “If the Manmohan Singh government was ofjobless 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 theBJP-led administration. Yadav said in the next Lok Sabha polls, the BJP may win150-200 seats and “if you think it can get closure to 250, then I don’tfind any path forward to it”.

The saffronparty had won 282 seats out of the total 543 in 2014. In all likelihood, theShiv Sena post-poll will support the BJP despite its constant criticism of itssenior ally, said the former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader. The 55-year-old politicalactivist said among the three Hindi-speaking states which saw change ofgovernment early this month, the Congress posted outright victory only inChhattisgarh. “Sense of anti-incumbency was strong in Rajasthan and alittle less in Madhya Pradesh. In Chhattisgarh, Congress was in a position tooffer an alternative government with its promise of a loan waiver and higherMSP 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’snationwide initiative, “ICan19”, in Maharashtra, which he said, aimsto encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics. “ThisIndian Citizens’ Action for Nation, 2019 (ICan) is like a national electionduty for Indians through which one can contribute meaningfully in giving a newdirection to the nation’s politics,” he said.

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