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Cow-killers need to be stopped. That's why this Bihari voted for BJP

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 31 October 2015, 1:19 IST
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The businessman

  • Munna Sonkar used to sell fruits out of a basket near the Sasaram railway station
  • Now 50, he owns a business of supplying and selling fruits

The justification

  • He says he voted for the BJP in order to \'save the country\'
  • On being pressed, he finally reveals why: \'cow-killers have got emboldened\'

More in the story

  • What made Sonkar steer away from Nitish Kumar
  • Why he doesn\'t agree with the RSS view on reservation

Elections are not just about politicians. They're about people and issues. And what will really drive their vote.

Catch is, therefore, starting a 'People of Bihar' series, which will daily capture what different impact groups across the state are feeling. This is true insight on the Bihar election: up-close and hyper-personal.

Munna Prasad Sonkar, 50, runs a business, selling and supplying fruits in Sasaram.

Many years ago, he arrived in the town as a young boy, and started selling fruits out of a basket, just outside the railway station. Over the years, his hard work paid off, and he slowly established his own business.

Sonkar belongs to the Khatik community, which is listed as an Extremely Backward Class (EBC) in Bihar.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing assembly polls, Sonkar spoke to Catch about all the issues he holds close to his heart. Excerpts.

How good or bad a Chief Minister has Nitish Kumar been?

Nitish's tenure was good for the state. Roads were built, many villages got electricity. But under him, the bureaucracy has been a bit of a problem.

So are you open to giving him another chance?

No, not this time. This time my vote is for development.

The BJP is promising further development of the state. I think it should be given a chance.

"That MLA in Kashmir gave a beef party! How emboldened have these people become!" says Munna Sonkar

So you feel Nitish did not do enough for Bihar's development?

Yes. I know people ask me why I am speaking against Nitish Kumar in spite of being an EBC, and knowing that it is he who created this category. But he did not do it in the right manner.

Look at my case, for example. My caste is categorised as a Harijan (Scheduled Caste) in Uttar Pradesh. That's what I and my people are. We are Harijans, and Nitish stopped our development by making us EBC and not SC.

Do you agree with the RSS's view that reservation policy should be reviewed, and that the poor among the upper castes should also get reservation?

No, I don't. That's a misunderstanding. Brahmins are poor because they don't work hard.

Look at me. My life is a message that it is hard work that can lift you out of poverty.

And yet you are upset that you are getting less quota than you deserve, because of your social status? Isn't that a dichotomy?

No, there's no dichotomy. My recognition as an SC is my right. It has been granted to me by the Constitution. I would have gotten it if I was in UP. Why not here?

Any other reason why you decided to vote for the BJP?

See, I used to vote for Laluji earlier, but then I saw promise in Nitish Kumar and voted for him. But this time, it is a question of saving the country. The BJP should be strengthened on this agenda.

Saving the country from whom?

From excesses by some people. Have you heard what that Owaisi has been saying in his speeches? I have it in my mobile. Things like remove the police for some time and we will show what we can do! How emboldened have these people become!

Have you heard about the incident in Dadri in UP, where a man was lynched?

Yes, I have. It is sad. But then what do you do when a mob gets angry? So many people are openly slaughtering cows. It's not good.

Are you saying the man's lynching was justified if he had eaten beef?

I think it was the guy's bad luck that he got killed. Many people are killing cows and eating their meat. They are not getting attacked for that. Look at that MLA in Kashmir (Sheikh Abdul Rashid). He openly gave a beef party! How emboldened have these people become!

First published: 31 October 2015, 1:19 IST
 
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.

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