In the last 20 years, one politician has retained his grip firmly over politics and that is former Railway minister and RJD President Lalu Prasad. Today for the first time, he has tasted defeat. How is he facing this difficult moment? Lalu Prasad spoke to CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai and revealed all in an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts.
Rajdeep Sardesai: If Congress is succeeding, then aren't you worried about regional parties losing ground?
Lalu Prasad: There are ups and downs for everyone in politics. Congress too is not in majority on its own.
Rajdeep Sardesai: So regional parties are not losing ground according to you?
Lalu Prasad: This is wrong. Nitish Kumar's party is also a regional party. Regional parties won't fade away.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Nitish Kumar has given good governance in Bihar.
Lalu Prasad: Ours was not a bad government either. This is just media hype.
Rajdeep Sardesai: But you are accused of playing divisive politics.
Lalu Prasad: This is wrong. Nitish is reaping the gains of work done by me.
Rajdeep Sardesai: But Nitish must have done some good work?
Lalu Prasad: Media hype. What has Nitish done on the ground? What has he changed?
Rajdeep Sardesai: How is your relationship with Sonia Gandhi?
Lalu Prasad: I have very good relations with the Gandhi family. I won't say a word against Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi or Manmohan Singh.
Rajdeep Sardesai: If your relations with Sonia are good, shouldn't you get into an agreement with Congress?
Lalu Prasad: I don't cut deals. I've never done any deals in the last five years. I don't believe in deals. I'm going back to my roots.
Rajdeep Sardesai: So your focus now will be on rebuilding the party?
Lalu Prasad: Yes, I will spend time in Bihar for my party.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You've been a minister for five years, you've received a lot of praise. But today you are not being included in the ministry?
Lalu Prasad: I don't feel bad, it's their decision. I've given unconditional support. I've accomplished my mission of defeating communal forces. Only power is worshipped in Delhi and I don't have power. I have just four seats.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You have four seats, don't you think you should be included in the Cabinet?
Lalu Prasad: I don't have any comments to make. It doesn't matter if I'm not made a minister.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Do you still believe you are part of the UPA?
Lalu Prasad: I'm part and parcel of the UPA, and will always remain so.
Rajdeep Sardesai: So Lalu, Mulayam, Paswan are not together? You won't take decisions together?
Lalu Prasad: No, we're all together. We are all supporting the UPA as individual parties.
Rajdeep Sardesai: The Fourth Front that you formed...
Lalu Prasad: There wasn't any Fourth Front. It was just an understanding with the Samajwadi Party.