NOTED youth leader of Delhi BJP Shri Vijendra Gupta took over as the new State party president on May 14. A three-time MCD councillor he has a largely successful political career of two decades. He has been chairman of the Standing Committee in Municipal Corporation and also contested the Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk constituency. Organiser correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to him to know his priorities as new president. Excerpts:
What are your priorities as new party president of Delhi?
The first priority is to fight for the cause of Delhiites as the people are facing the worst kind of atrocities even on the part of the government which they elected to power third time. Instead of extending any help, the Congress government is rather increasing their woes. My second priority is to strengthen the party organisation. The criterion of party strength is to revitalise the workers so that they come to the streets for the cause of the common man. The time has come when we would have to come to the streets to get the people rid of this insensitive, anti-people and worst government.
Have you formulated any action-plan to energise the grass roots workers?
If I explain it in simple words-we all are for one and everyone is for all of us. Every worker should feel that he/she has full backing of the party and his/her work is being acknowledged. Developing such a confidence among the workers is the biggest challenge before us today. We do not lack committed workers, there is a need to give them a direction and vision.
Infighting among the senior party leaders is reported by the media frequently. How would you ensure unity?
I do not agree. When the organisation is run with collective leadership, a healthy discussion or debate has to take place. Take the example of my selection as party president. There was discussion at all levels and leaders expressed their candid opinion. But once the name was announced, nobody was seen opposing it. What I want to convey is that discussion and debate within the party should not be taken as infighting. After all, we cannot ban the healthy discussion in a democracy.
The number of leaders indulging in self-projection also increased in the party for some time. How will you curb this tendency?
I don’t think it is true. See, ideology is supreme for all of us. We all are committed to it. The party has to be strengthened if the ideology has to be strengthened. If we have this feeling in mind, there will be no question of self-projection. If an individual ignores it he/she works against the party and the ideology. We all have to follow certain norms and discipline in our conduct. If an individual ever tried to indulge in such practices the party and the workers never recognised him/her. It is the basic quality of our party and the workers.
What is the immediate goal-MCD elections or anything else?
Working only for contesting elections cannot ensure long term success. We have to fight for the cause of the common man. Every moment is a test for us. The way the government is itself trying to eliminate economically-deprived people from the national capital is a shame. We cannot let it get success in this game plan. The MCD elections will only be a temporary halt in our fight for the people, we have to go long.
People have been adversely hit by the price rise, but instead of extending relief to the people the Chief Minister is justifying the price rise. What do you say?
This shows insensitiveness of the Congress government to the people. Today a revolt-like situation has developed in Delhi. People may come to the streets anytime. There may be anarchy and the government itself will be responsible for it. The Chief Minister’s justification of price rise is like putting salt over the wounds. People need solution and not this type of provocations. The prime reason of the price rise in Delhi is the large-scale corruption in every department and mismanagement.
What the BJP is doing in this regard?
We can just raise the issue and that is what we are doing as a responsible Opposition party. The way the money is being wasted in the name of Commonwealth Games, proves how irresponsible is this government. First the government deliberately delayed the projects and now in the name of completing them timely, the budget of projects is repeatedly being revised. It is going to prove the biggest case of corruption of this decade. It is a case of complete misuse of public money. Smt Sheila Dikshit will have to give answer for even a single penny she is wasting today. Secondly, the area which is being developed in the name of Commonwealth Games is very small. It does not benefit the whole of Delhi.
There are reports that poor quality material is being used in developmental activities at some places and the payment is being made for superior quality material. Have you noticed it?
This is one of the examples of massive corruption taking place in the name of Commonwealth Games. There are footpaths which were made anew a few months back and are being made new once again. The work being done now is of inferior quality than the work done previously. It also indicates to the failure of the government as it did not prepare any blueprint in advance. Decisions are being taken on the spot without prior planning.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) says that power tariff should be reduced. On the other hand the government supports the tariff hike. Who is right, the DERC or the Government?
The private companies are making huge money from power distribution and the State government is hand in glove in this racket. The government is completely anti-people. What the DERC says is based on the facts and the records provided by the power companies. The power tariff must be reduced from 20 to 25 per cent in Delhi with immediate effect as said by the DERC. We are not going to sit silent on this issue. The government will be forced to reduce the tariff.
Soon after taking over as party president you raised the issue of hanging of Afzal and the government made some response. Are you satisfied?
The Congress Government is guilty on this issue as it was deliberately sitting on this file for the last forty-four months. Now after we raised it, the file has reached to the Lt. Governor. We feel the matter is now on the right track and we hope soon the Central Government will have to take a decision in this regard. We will take-up the other issues also effectively as we took-up the issue of hanging Afzal.