Now that you have been elected to the Rajya Sabha, is it the end of electoral politics for you?
Selja:No, not at all! It was kind of Sonia-ji to send me to the Rajya Sabha, but I will continue to play an active role in Haryana and strengthen the party in the state. We MPs are like a bridge between the Centre and state. I was also the only MP from Haryana to have stayed as union minister in UPA-1 and 2. We had done our share to bring the Congress to power in Haryana in 2009, and will continue to work for the party.
What projects would you have brought to Ambala had the state government cooperated?
The Yamunanagar-Jagdhari rail line via Sadhaura was announced twice in the rail budget, but the Haryana government did not have money to buy land for it. I wanted a university and a medical college to be set up in north Haryana, comprising Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar. It could’ve been done.
How did it feel to have your party in power both at the Centre and in the state and yet not be able to see your projects implemented?
It was unfortunate. I wish the state government would have cooperated. There was a “go slow” on all my projects, including the Patwi solid waste management plant that has been pending since UPA-1.
Your comment on the party’s thought behind appointing a young Dalit leader like Ashok Tanwar as the Haryana Congress chief.
I don’t believe in labels but I’m sure this decision of the high command will benefit the party in Haryana.
Haryana saw violence against Dalits — whether at Mirchpur or Gohana, or even Ambala in the recent past.
Do you think the state government was unable to protect the rights of Dalits?
The incidents were extremely unfortunate, particularly when the Congress is in power. Dalits need more protection and security.