Confident of BJP's comeback in Delhi: Manoj Tiwari
In an exclusive interview with Abhay Singh and Abhinay Lakshman of the Millennium Post, State BJP president and North-East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari said that his party is confident of a comeback on all seven Lok Sabha seats in the Capital, as a result of the party's good work in the last five years.
In the interview, Tiwari discussed party's campaign strategy and poll promises for the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Delhi BJP seems confident that the party's work, which is already reaching homes of citizens will speak for itself in the upcoming elections. "The lotus symbol which has been put up on people's doors has also been imprinted in their hearts," Tiwari said.
What will be your poll promises for the 2019 polls?
We are very confident that the work our government has done in the last five years has already reached the people. In addition to the BJP national manifesto released in 2017, we will also be working towards the upliftment of poorer sections of the population by making sure schemes like Ayushman Bhaarat Yojana reach homes of all citizens in the capital region. We will also work towards legitimising unauthorised colonies in Delhi, thus providing ownership and registration rights for residents.
What is your take on granting full statehood to Delhi?
I realise that the AAP government has raised this issue now. But the fact of the matter is that there is yet to be an all-party meeting regarding this issue. I think it is just a way for the Delhi government to gain autonomy over governance in the capital city. It is also important to note that they have raised the issue only now, a few months before the nation goes to polls.
In addition, the Delhi government does not take note of complications that arise from asking for full statehood for a Union Territory, especially the NCR, given that jurisdictionally Central Government, Delhi Government and municipal bodies share governance in the region. It will be really difficult to divide the area jurisdictionally even if statehood is granted, which is not possible without a constitutional amendment.
And even if statehood is granted, the question still remains as to where the central government will operate from.
What is your strategy to deal with opposition unity if it comes through?
Our basic strategy is to expose the opposition regardless of whether they unite or not. Their plans to unite seem to be just window-dressing to hide their combined failures in the last 20 years. The fact that the Congress and the AAP have been able to run governments at both Central and State levels means that they alone must take responsibility for failures in governance that have cropped up since the beginning of the century. Blaming the central government of grid-locking governance in the region seems cowardly.
What are your views on legitimising unauthorised colonies in Delhi?
Unauthorised colonies first and foremost come under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Government. Despite that, the current government in the Capital has failed to deliver on legitimising these colonies and solidifying the residents' right to own and sell their properties through appropriate registration. The Central Government has been forced to take an initiative in this matter as a result, because at the end of the day it is a Union Territory as well. This issue has proven that the Delhi Government is responsible not only for bad governance but for inhuman governance as well.
How do you plan to attract voters from slum areas in your constituency?
Our government at the Centre is providing schemes like Ayushman Bhaarat Yojana and the Delhi government keeps rejecting them. More importantly, we believe that free health services are more essential than anything to the upliftment of poorer sections of the capital region.
While AAP has already started outreach campaigns through door-to-door interactions, how do you plan to catch up in terms of reaching voters?
Firstly, we are happy with what our government has achieved in the last five years. Despite having to work with the Delhi Government for four of those years, our work has proceeded in the right direction and with immense speed. Signature Bridge, for example was held for 15 years and we were the ones who finally managed to finish construction and launch it. In addition, we also built the Yamuna bridge in a span of 14 months. These lapses from AAP and Congress are what we will be concentrating on for our campaign. We will rely on spreading information to citizens about how these parties have continually failed them.
Secondly, at the constituency level, our government through municipal bodies and Delhi Police, has been able to commission and introduce multiple projects like CCTV cameras, LED street lights, open gyms and swings with whatever budget has been allocated to us.