Yogendra Yadav calls ‘Mahaghatbandan’ a crude joke with ‘hollow ideology’

Former senior leader of India's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Yogendra Yadav gestures as he addresses an audience at Gujarat Media Club in Ahmedabad on May 25, 2015. Yadav and former AAP leader Anand Kumar are now both leaders of 'Swaraj Abhiyan' a group found by ousted AAP leaders. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY

Kolkata: Casting apprehensions on the agenda of the grand alliance stitched together by opposition parties, Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav on Sunday said the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is a “big joke” and filled with “hollow people” with no ideology.

He said all the leaders in the grand alliance, who are portraying themselves as anti-BJP or anti-Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi), were equally anti-democracy and corrupt.

“There was a huge gathering (in Kolkata). But, where is the ideology? What is your agenda. There was no discussion on that. You had no talks on the problems the farmers are facing, and on unemployment. I believe this coalition lacks vision,” Yadav told PTI.

The politician-activist was referring to Saturday’s mega rally organised by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata, where leaders from over a dozen opposition parties came together, vowing to put up a united fight in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and oust Modi from power.

“They are saying that Narendra Modi is anti-democracy, but what about (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee? She is also the same. She has not allowed the panchayat elections to take place peacefully. She does not allow the opposition to host any rally here. You are carrying out rowdyism in your state.”

“And (NCP leader) Sharad Pawar, (SP chief) Akhilesh Yadav and (BSP chief) Mayawati all are claiming of saving the country from corruption. This is a big joke. This grand alliance is full of hollow people,” he said.

Yadav said the grand alliance is only an opposition but not an alternative to the BJP government at the Centre.

“The country at the moment requires an alternate government instead of opposition. I think national politics is under threat,” he said.

The former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader wondered where were the leaders of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the last five years, when there were many incidents of farmer suicides and movements organised by unemployed youths.

“These politicians were sitting in Parliament all these years, while the struggles were led by farmers, youths and dalit organisations. They are the ones who fought on the streets. We need to form their (farmers, youths) coalition,” he said.

Yadav said his party is focusing on coming up with an alternative of a strong opposition by the people against the government.

“People have to build up a strong opposition against the current government, which can be sustained for a long time. We are trying to build that alternative. We need a coalition of social movement,” he said.

Launching Swaraj India’s ‘#iCan19′ – Indian Citizens’ Action for Nation, 2019 – an initiative for citizens to intervene in electoral politics, Yadav said he is hopeful that his party would have an effect on the electoral process.

“We have no capacity of fighting hundreds of seats. We would make a very limited intervention in a select few seats. That is our effort,” Yadav added.