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People are called Pak agent just for having a different view: Sharad Yadav


How different is the Narendra Modi government from that of Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime? This is the question that was put to veteran political leader Sharad Yadav.

His verdict: This is a non-consultative and non-interactive regime. It is a regime in which debate is being scuttled, he claimed, by hiding behind the armed forces.

There have never been so many retired army men hogging space on prime-time TV, he pointed out and suggested that the consequences of this will not be good for Indian democracy.

Also read - Surgical strikes: Ignore Pak claims, but Indians deserve to know the truth

"Should there be democracy in India or should we hand over the country to the Army," he asked?

Yadav, however, added that Indian democracy was resilient. "Democracy in India is a slow process. Anybody who tries to go fast will not last," he predicted.

Sharad Yadav, who has been elected seven times to the Lok Sabha and four times to the Rajya Sabha has been in electoral politics for 42 years.

He claimed that there was no prime minister during his legislative tenure - except today - with whom he did not have normal and direct channels of communication. Now things are bad, he says. There was always space for Opposition leaders to walk up and offer advice to those who occupied the top echelons of the government. "In the last two to two-and-half years, this has changed," he said.

It is not as if there was no consultation but its form had changed, the former president of Janata Dal (United) claimed. Mostly they were in the form of briefings after the event or rare all-party meetings, he suggested, while admitting that he had been consulted before signing the Framework Agreement with the Nagas last August.

Watch this freewheeling conversation, in which Sharad Yadav compares and contrasts the functioning of the Vajpayee and Modi governments.

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Bharat Bhushan @Bharatitis

Editor of Catch News, Bharat has been a hack for 25 years. He has been the founding Editor of Mail Today, Executive Editor of the Hindustan Times, Editor of The Telegraph in Delhi, Editor of the Express News Service, Washington Correspondent of the Indian Express and an Assistant Editor with The Times of India.