‘I have done for Hoshiarpur what MPs before me couldn’t’
What are the high points of your five-year term?chandigarh Updated: Feb 27, 2014 23:43 IST
What are the high points of your five-year term?
Chowdhary: Hoshiarpur is the only backward district of Punjab. I have done for it what MPs before me could not. I brought railway projects, a tertiary cancer care centre and a Kendriya Vidyalaya, besides welfare schemes here. I have raised issues of the deprived in the House and have taken up the cause of accredited social health activists (ASHA) workers by getting their incentive increased.
What was it that you wished to do as an MP but couldn’t? And why?
Every monsoon, Hoshiarpur faces waterlogging. I kept raising this issue and finally, a drainage project has been started after an initial delay by the SAD-BJP government. Central funds for the development of the kandi belt were not spent properly by the state government, otherwise the region could have offered job opportunities. The Punjab government did not maintain the Takhni Rehmapur wildlife sanctuary also despite getting central funds. Being a Congress MP and having to deal with the SAD-BJP government did cause hurdles.
I am a Dalit woman and a loyal soldier of the Congress, yet I have faced opposition from within at times. Mein zehar ko bhi amrit samajh kar pee gayi (I have consumed poison, taking it for nectar, in party interest).
Would you like to contest again? Why should people re-elect you?
Yes, definitely. I want to continue working for Hoshiarpur. Agar rajneeti raj karne ki neeti hai toh mujhe yeh abhi bhi nahin aati hai. Mere liye rajneeti toh sirf logon ki seva karne ka ek madhyam hai (If politics is the art of ruling, I still haven’t learnt it. For me, politics is a medium to serve people). The people of Hoshiarpur know what I have done for them. I have faith in God and them. For 20 years, I have stayed in a room in Delhi’s Punjab Bhawan and not taken a flat or bungalow entitled to MPs.
How has been your experience in the 15th Lok Sabha? It witnessed the highest-ever disruptions and wasted hours.
Yes, the conduct of some MPs was shocking and unfortunate. I come from a family of respected politicians. My father, Roshan Lal, and father-in-law, Chowdhary Sunder Singh, were both MPs. I was an NCC cadet at Government College for Girls, Chandigarh, so discipline has been part of my upbringing. I remember having filled in for the Speaker during the 10th Lok Sabha. I started with an appeal, “Sadan ki garima aap ke haath mein hai, duniya dekh rahi hai (the prestige of the House is in your hands. The world is watching). I need your cooperation.” I think it helps if the Speaker lets a member vent out pent-up emotions, but within the time limit.