As the polling date approaches in Delhi, all parties are campaigning round the clock. In this situation, Delhi BJP President Shri Manoj Tiwari is a super busy leader. Apart from campaigning for the candidates, he has to manage the entire election campaign. Organiser Senior Correspondent Nishant Kr Azad spoke to him during the election campaign to know about the issues and preparations of the BJP in the polls. Excerpts:
How is this election different for the BJP from 2013 and 2015? Why should people leave AAP for the BJP now?
See, 2013 and 2015 were totally different from 2020. In 2015, Arvind Kejriwal was not tested. But in 2020, he has been tested and has failed miserably. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which came to power in 2013 and 2015 was riding on the wave of anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. People were unaware of the AAP politics. All they knew that theie future is going to be better because of the big promises made then. When people voted for Shri Narendra Modi in 2014 General Elections, they had a strong belief that Modi ji would change the face of Delhi by taking all of us together. But after the Parliamentary polls, Delhi faced Assembly elections and suddenly people changed their mind and gave a chance to AAP. But Kejriwal betrayed the whole Delhi. Today, when polling date is approaching people are keeping a close check on the 70 promises made by Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi is in a worse condition than ever before. Hospitals and schools are shutting down, people are drinking highly contaminated water and air quality is hazardous. Students are getting education only for 1 to 1.5 hours in schools. Out of 1020 Government schools in Delhi, AAP painted the walls of only six schools and called it a historic step. And while doing so, the Kejriwal Government is thinking that they have changed the face of education and schools, with world-class infrastructure and education system. In the last five years, the AAP has opened only one new school in Delhi.
After seeing all the bruises of Kejriwal Government, what roadmap does BJP have for the development of Delhi?
The BJP without being in government and regardless of the fact that it is Kejriwal Government in Delhi, Modi ji regularised the unauthorised colonies for over 40 lakh people. This was ignored by the previous governments who ruled the State. It was the AAP Government who had kept it delaying for a long time. Every time the political parties used it as an issue in elections and forgot it after winning the elections.
The BJP without being in government and regardless of the fact that it is Kejriwal Government in Delhi, Modi ji regularised the unauthorised colonies for over 40 lakh people. This was ignored by the previous governments who ruled the State. Every time the political parties used it as an issue in elections and forgot it after winning the elections
After becoming Prime Minister, Modi ji asked Kejriwal Government to coordinate with the Central Government in regularising the unauthorised colonies. Delhi Government replied that it will be possible only in 2017. And in 2017, they said it will take more time and will accomplish in 2019. When Modi ji asked Kejriwal’s Government how much more time would they take, they said the procedure is too long and will be completed by 2021. Then Modi ji said Delhi Government is playing with people’s sentiments and is trying to raise the issue in the elections. Then the Central Government regularised all 1731 unauthorised colonies without the cooperation of Delhi Government. The process of granting ownership rights to the house owners is going on in Delhi through Delhi Development Authority. The simplification of the procedure by Modiji to apply for regularisation of the houses through DDA website has been appreciated by the people as they do not need to stand up in any queue. Now, people believe that the Modi Government is serious and it is working in a time bound manner to deliver. That is why people have made up their mind that it is time to bring BJP back to power in Delhi.
AAP is in the fray with the face of Arvind Kejriwal, but the BJP does not have any particular face for the post of Chief Minister. Why?
The face of Arvind Kejriwal is no longer worth showing. The last time Kejriwal got votes on his face as he was new to politics. But after the AAP won polls, his MLAs were found involved in rape, some were caught with fake degrees, someone was caught getting his wife bitten by dogs, someone slapped a woman, some were found indulging in provocative talks at Jamia Milia Islamia University. So, now the face of AAP and Kejriwal has become blemish. And people are moving towards BJP, which has ‘kamal’ (lotus) and a state president with a clean face. We built three Kendriya Vidyalays in the last five years; we built Signature Bridge for the people of Delhi. We built Eastern-Western Peripheral Expressways. It is clear that people will cast their vote on work and not on face because it doesn’t matter.
Your reference to Jamia was probably towards Amantullah Khan who openly supported Shaheen Bagh protesters and anti-national Sharjeel Imam. Even Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in one of his statements that they are with the protesters.
The AAP has deliberately put Delhi’s security in danger. Despite being in government, Kejriwal was silent when mob was burning the buses and public property in the name of protests. The sad part is that a few people at Shaheen Bagh have kept the general public hostage for almost 50 days, and it still continues.
Senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar had advocated the CAA to restore the dignity of our brothers and sisters who have been facing persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
In Shaheen Bagh, anti-national and anti-Hindu slogans are still being raised. They are saying “pradhan mantri ko goli maaro, Amit Shah ko goli maaro; Hinduon ki kabra khudegi, humein chahiye Jinnah wali azaadi” (Kill Prime Minister Modi, Kill Amit Shah; dig the grave of Hindus). And the shocking part is that Manish Sisodia says that AAP stands with these people.
Kejriwal is the Chief Minister of Delhi but he has not visited Shaheen Bagh once to look into the matter. Now the people of Delhi will decide whether they want a government who supports rioters and give money to rioters and murderers or they will vote for a government who can give them clean water, clean air, better health facilities and can keep Delhi safe. One can take the example of Uttar Pradesh adjacent to Delhi, where BJP is governing. See the way things are brought under control there.
AAP MLA Amantullah Khan openly shared stage with Sharjeel Imam who talked about cutting off Assam from Bharat and at the same time Enforcement Directorate says that Congress leaders are taking money from PFI for inciting violence in the name of CAA.
Congress and AAP are behind all the violence in the name of CAA and this all is being done in an organised manner. Senior Congress leaders including Shashi Tharoor, Mani Shankar Aiyar and others visited Shaheen Bagh and openly supported the protests. Both these parties are indulging in Muslim-appeasement politics and are fighting for gaining Muslim votes in Delhi assembly elections. The people sitting on dharna are asking the Union Government to roll back CAA calling it a ‘kaala kanoon’ without knowing about this. All the parties and senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar had advocated the CAA to restore the dignity of our brothers and sisters who are facing persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They are asking the government to take back NRC without knowing that NRC is not implemented anywhere in the country except Assam. Arvind Kejriwal is indulging all this dirty politics because he knows that this time people will not vote for him.
The AAP has deliberately put Delhi’s security in danger. Despite being in government, Kejriwal was silent when mob was burning the buses and public property in the name of protests. The sad part is that a few people at Shaheen Bagh have kept the general public hostage for almost 50 days
There are some Muslim dominated seats in Delhi and the way Muslims are being mobilised against CAA, won’t it harm the BJP in this election?
This will not harm the BJP at all. This will harm Delhi. CAA protests will harm the AAP and the Congress as these parties are spreading rumours and inciting violence. BJP always talks about “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas”. We not only talk about it but also practise it. But the Muslim appeasement politics of AAP and Congress is very dangerous. Even they are not in favour of ensuring proper education to Muslim children. They will not be able to fool them again. AAP and Congress are using Muslims as vote bank, nothing else. People of Delhi know who is behind the protests. I am sure the people will give a befitting reply to AAP and Congress for their sins.
For the first time the BJP is contesting Assembly polls in Delhi in alliance with the JD(U) and LJP. Will it work here?
Definitely, this is a big message. The open support of Shri Nitish Kumar and LJP will have a huge impact in the polls. Even Akali Dal is also supporting us even though the party is not fighting the election. In a press conference, Akali Dal clearly said that they are supporting the BJP.
You are president of Delhi BJP. During elections a theory is floated that there is lack of coordination among the local BJP leadership. What is the truth?
This is all rumour. There is full coordination in the party. This is the third election we are fighting together. We fought MCD polls and Lok Sabha elections as a team and we won. In 2019 polls, the margin of victory was much higher than the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. We won in 1,20,068 booth of Delhi, and it only became possible because we fought united. AAP was at the third position in all the constituencies. And this time also we are fighting as one unit. You can see all the senior leaders campaigning in the polls.
How many seats does the BJP hope to win?
As per the current situation, we will win 50+ seats. People of Delhi have seen the real face of AAP and this time they will vote for the BJP.
(With Yatharth Sikka)