Just three months before the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Narendra Modi government has come up with reservation for the economically backward upper caste people. The government has approved 10 per cent reservation for economically backward people in the general category.
However, the opposition parties have termed it merely an election gimmick. To know more about what impact it will have on the upcoming national polls, journalist Anurag Sason has an in-depth conversation with well-known psephologist and a politician Mr. Yogendra Yadav.
Here are important excerpts from the interview: (Scroll down to watch the complete interview)
Q1) What impact this reservation act will have on the general polls?
Yogendra Yadav: Nothing. You know this reminded me of what the Congress party did in 2013. If you remember, by the end of 2013, Congress was in terrible shape and it knew that it will lose the election. At that time, they came up with Jat reservation. The voter eventually rejected the Congress and this is exactly that kind of a gimmick. It is an effort to distract voters but the fact is these things now don’t confuse the masses.
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Q2) Is the move politically motivated?
Yogendra Yadav: Yes. But I don’t mind politics. It is a nice thing. But this move is made to dodge the voters, to distract them from the real issues. The real issue is that of jobs. There is a job crisis in the country. In one year, the country has lost 1 crore 10 lakh jobs. Government is sitting on 24 lakh vacancies. Government is not doing anything to provide jobs but it is providing you reservation!
Q3) Shall we encourage this practice of reservation?
Yogendra Yadav: Reservation is a very specific solution to a specific problem. Unfortunately, because nothing else works in this country, this specific solution has become a general bridge for everyone. Reservation is necessary at least for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe.
However, what we need above all is not reservation but a good education in ordinary government schools and job opportunities in the economy. If these two things don’t happen then whether reservation or no reservation, it will hardly make any difference.
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Q4) What will happen in Lok Sabha elections 2019?
Yogendra Yadav: See, five years ago, I used to do psephology but now I’m not into election predictions anymore. But yes, as a common man, I can see PM Narendra Modi losing at least one hundred seats compared to what he got in 2014.
Q5) Do you think grand alliance will give a tough fight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi?
Yogendra Yadav: The BJP will lose that does not mean that the Congress will win. These two are totally different things. To my point, the grand alliance offers very little alternative to the country.
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Q6) What will be the game plan for the Swaraj India?
Yogendra Yadav: For Swaraj India people are important and we will try to ensure that they get importance. In Swaraj India, we want to give common people a chance to play an active role in the upcoming elections.
Q7) What will be the two major issues in the Lok Sabha elections 2019?
Yogendra Yadav: This election should not be about Hindu-Muslim. It should be about farmers and their problems. And youths and problems related to them.
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Q8) Do you think this government worked for farmers?
Yogendra Yadav: In the last five years, Modi government was the most anti-farmer government in the history of the country.
Q9) Is there any scope for the Third Front in India?
Yogendra Yadav: There has always been scope for the Third Front in the country. The real issue is- what do we mean by the Third Front? Third Front cannot be an alliance of the existing political parties. It has to have a third idea. The Third Front can be of importance only if it comes with an alternative vision for the country.
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WATCH FULL INTERVIEW:
About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
The interview is taken in the personal capacity and is exclusively for this website.
(Note: The interview was taken before the passage of the reservation bill for the economically backward upper caste)