The Telegraph
Sunday , February 16 , 2014
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Dal dissident keeps cards close to chest

MLC Devesh Chandra Thakur has been a close confidante of chief minister Nitish Kumar for almost 10 years. He has been moving around with the chief minister like his “shadow” for quite sometime. But like some other “loyalists” turning into detractors of Nitish, Devesh too has apparently got disillusioned with the chief minister and the JD(U). In a telephonic interview with Amit Bhelari of The Telegraph on Saturday, Devesh revealed how the Dal maltreated him, ignoring his long-cherished wish to go to Parliament. But a soft-spoken and decent man, Devesh is still shy of launching a personal attack on Nitish.

You have been known as the chief minister’s close confidante, will your decision to quit the JD(U) not hurt Nitish at the time when he is said to be in crisis?

I am dealing with the party since 2004. At the time of joining it as an Independent MLC, I had expressed my desire to contest the Lok Sabha polls or go to Delhi via Rajya Sabha. I reminded the leadership about this in every poll. I was made a minister, which I never asked for, and was dropped unceremoniously. The party has not taken care of me. Similarly, the party should not expect much from me either. When the party did not bother to listen to me in its heydays, I do not think that my decision will hurt it, if at all, when it is in crisis as you are saying.

You had won as an Independent. Then you joined the JD(U), why do you want to be an Independent again?

I do not want to remain in a party in which people are selected on narrow-minded considerations and there is no respect for loyalty and hard work.

What wrong is Nitish doing as a leader and as chief minister?

No, I do not think he has done anything wrong, he is a very good chief minister. I may have differences with him on political decisions but as chief minister, he has done good work in the given circumstances.

You worked as link between the chief minister and Maharashtra politicians, including Governor D.Y. Patil. Do you not think Nitish will miss you?

I don’t think that Nitish needs my help. I am too small for such things. However, if anyone needs my help for the interest of Bihar and Bihari people, I am always available.

You were based in Mumbai. What led you to Bihar and join Nitish Kumar and make you disenchanted?

I do not regret coming to Bihar and now, I do not see any scope or political future in the JD(U). I will go to my graduate constituency, will work over there among the people and you never know about the future, anything can happen.

What are your contributions to the party and the state?

It is not my habit to talk about my contributions, which I have made to my friends, supporters or any individual. I am not into the habit of talking on such things.

What do you think about Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and the BJP?

I will not like to talk or comment on this question at this juncture, but in future, I may give the answer.