In the second part of the interview with Senior Advocate Yatin Oza, we take a look at his political career, his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the reason he refused to rejoin the BJP and more..But first, he gives us a glimpse of how elections work at the Gujarat Bar..“You will be surprised that elections in Gujarat happen very differently from the rest of the country. In other states, people spend lakhs and crores to become Bar President. But here, if you spend money, you are bound to lose!.The only thing I spend is on the phone bills. In the evening, after work, I used to ask the operator to dial the numbers alphabetically, and I made sure that voters were approached either personally or by phone. That is the only expense I have to incur. Yahaan partiyaan nahi hoti hain (There are no parties here). Here, it is only your image, your personality and reputation that count.”.And winning the election for President of the Bar has become a routine thing for Yatin Oza..“Members of my Bar Association are very sure of my dependability. In the time of crisis, they know that I will stand with them, and I have. Some people say that I have a constituency called the Junior Lawyers’ constituency. But they have a right to vote as well. I take up the problems faced by the lawyers within the court as well as outside the court. That is how I have earned the love and affection of the Bar..The last time I got elected, in 2015, I didn’t call a single member. I have not been canvassing for the last five to seven years. Even if somebody meets me, I say, ‘You know me by now. You know what I have done, you know where I have failed. You make your judgment.’”.Despite the immense faith imposed in him by the Gujarat lawyers, he failed to garner the wholehearted support of the High Court Bar when it came to the letters to CJI Thakur. His attempt to convince the association to pass a resolution in support of the letters backfired, with one of the members filing a writ petition against him in the High Court..“Look, in every Bar, you know there is a split. Some places it is 50-50, but in my Bar it is 5-95. There is a group in existence since 1994 with a one-point programme to see that I am defeated. But, by some divine blessings, I have always won. So they saw this as an opportunity.”.The fact that he was elected President sixteen times is testament to his leadership qualities. It seemed only natural to become heavily involved in politics. He came to be widely known as a BJP lawyer, having done more than two thousand cases for them, absolutely free of cost. During the Ram Mandir communal riots, his office would be constantly visited by the party’s top brass. And they decided to repay his service with a chance to contest..“In 1995, Amit Shah, who was and is a very dear friend, asked me to contest. The ticket was already allotted to someone else and the high command was actually persuaded to change their candidate, and that is how I entered politics.”.The person behind securing the ticket was none other than a certain Narendra Damodardas Modi..Thus began an intimate friendship between Yatin Oza and the current Prime Minister of India. The relationship grew stronger when Modi was exiled from Gujarat between 1995 and 2001..“I was extremely close to him, and he was also kind to me. During his exile, only two people stood by him: me and another personal friend of his. When he used to come to Ahmedabad, there was only one person from the BJP to meet him.”.However, things would begin to turn sour with Oza falling out with then BJP leader, Keshubhai Patel. The tiff resulted in the lawyer leaving the party and joining the Congress. By this time, Modi had returned to his home state and assumed the role of Chief Minister, at a turbulent period in Gujarat’s history..“He then tried to convince me to come back to BJP. He was successful in persuading LK Advaniji to give back my Sabarmati seat. He felt hurt, but not because I didn’t accept his offer. But in his time of crisis, when he was contesting pre-Godhra in Rajkot, I became a star campaigner for the Congress and had become more loyal to the crown than the King himself. At that time, I had made some personal attacks against him that really perturbed him.”.Yatin Oza takes a moment to reminisce after explaining the breaking point of the relationship. There is a hint of regret in his voice, and it definitely pains him to admit as much..“Sometimes when I sit and introspect, I find two answers. After having forgotten everything, after extending your hand for a second time, which I did, for him to carry in his mind all of this, it is not fair. The second answer, to his favour, is that I tried to damage him at a time when if damage was caused, he would have been finished then and there..My tongue is very bitter but fortunately wedded to truth. I don’t mind openly admitting to mistakes and I don’t spare anybody who I want to attack.”.However, there is another reason why Yatin Oza refused to consider joining the BJP again. Once again, he exhibits his allegiance to the judiciary, casting aside his political loyalties..“What really disturbed me was the frontal attacks on the judiciary. The first and foremost foundation of democracy is a strong judiciary. Then comes a strong Election Commission and a strong Comptroller and Auditor General. And, of course, the fourth wing, which is more powerful than all three, the media. This is the only difference between a dictatorship and a democracy!”.He goes on to criticise the Centre for “sitting on” transfer files for a long time. And if he is to be believed, there is an agenda behind delaying the passing of these files. By way of background, the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court SK Mukherjee was recommended for transfer to the Uttarakhand High Court back in May, in place of Justice KM Joseph, who was slated to be transferred to the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad..“[If CJ Mukherjee] cannot go to Uttarakhand, Justice Joseph cannot go to Hyderabad. And I need not say why [PM Modi] doesn’t want Justice Joseph to go to Hyderabad. This is what is bad. Simply because he has delivered a judgment against you? What type of judges do you want? Do you want judges to decide in your favour at the cost of being disloyal to the Constitution?.Most importantly, and nobody knows this, is that by doing that they are stalling Justice Jayant Patel. During the (Ishrat Jahan) encounter cases, (former) Chief Justice Mukhopadhaya had assigned all the matters to Justice Patel. There are people who are critics of Justice Patel, but none of his critics can say that he is a judge who will compromise his honesty and integrity. They wanted Justice Patel to act according to their wishes. But he is one judge who will never, ever ditch the Constitution. So by not transferring Chief Justice Mukherjee, he is blocking Justice Patel, who is next in line (to become Chief) at the Karnataka High Court..You brought in the NJAC, it did not find favour. Then, as Prime Minister, you have to be the first citizen to follow the law. You cannot send signals to judges saying, ‘Be with us, we will protect you’. Of course, sometimes there are procedural delays, and it happens. But these delays are not procedural.”.Another one of those long pauses ensues, and once again, you can see the passion in his eyes as he stares into your soul. “If you don’t want to publish anything else, at least publish this”, he says after a while. Another Yatin Oza-esque mic drop..He has since turned his back on the party with which he started his political career, having recently joined the Aam Aadmi Party. What were his reasons for doing so?.“Very honestly, it is only transparency in administration which has really attracted me towards Kejriwal. Today, the Anti-Corruption Bureau is not with him. But in the short span of time that it was, friends in Delhi used to say, ‘Constable bhi paisa laine se darta hai’ (Even constables are afraid of taking bribes). The same goes for the Central government officers. I cross-checked and verified that..My daughter, who practised in Delhi said, ‘I never liked Kejriwal, but my light bill has come down from 4200 to 3000 rupees’. Imagine the benefit poor people in Delhi would have got. From my closest quarters, I have gathered this.”.At AAP, it seems as though he has found another cause to fight for, and knowing him, he will only get more vocal about the Centre’s handling of judicial appointments in the days to come. So how does he manage to balance his work as a lawyer and his campaigning?.“Infinite capacity to take pains is genius. Work, work and work.”.And with that, and one last reference to his “friends” in Delhi looking to file another contempt petition, the inimitable Yatin Oza signs off..Image of Prime Minister Modi taken from here.