An NRI businessman who returned to the country in 2008 after spending nearly 20 years abroad is trying his luck at the ballot in the Lok Sabha polls from Chandigarh.
Ajay Goyal, 44, an independent candidate for the Chandigarh seat, has travelled around the world and invested in companies in many countries. He is now entering politics with no big promises but plans to woo voters with his impressive profile and by suggesting immediate remedies to their woes in his door-to-door campaign.
"At present, there is no democracy in any political party so I do not want to join any one of them. I am strictly against the usage of money to win elections that all other parties are doing," Goyal told IANS.
"This is my first stint in politics. I plan to contest the Lok Sabha elections three times in the next 15 years and then I will retire before reaching 60."
Criticising other political parties, Goyal said, "It is not the case that Chandigarh is lacking resources or does not have money, the thing is that our political leaders lack the will to do development work."
"They have all gone corrupt and are betraying the trust of the people. But I have a strong feeling that this time the masses are going to give a shock to all these established parties," stated Goyal.
He said that he had surveyed and studied Chandigarh for four months and then started his campaign seven days ago. "Seeing the response till now, I am sure of winning the elections," said Goyal.
"My main focus is on neglected areas and suburbs of Chandigarh. We will establish our offices in all these areas and provide internet facility to every individual there to upload their problems and photographs online so that the world can see the reality of Chandigarh and its 'so called' leaders," said Goyal.
Goyal, a mechanical engineer, passed out from the National Institute of Technology in Kurukshetra, Haryana, in 1986 and migrated to Germany in 1989.
Eight years ago, Goyal established India Action, a non-governmental organistaion, in Moscow to fight for Indian immigrants who had illegally entered Europe.
"We also have a chapter of India Action in London and we offer all legal aid and financial help to immigrants who are ready to return."
"I also started Gandhi's London walk in 2006; now every Saturday people from various countries participate in a three-hour long walk and visit various buildings and places in London that have some connection with Mahatma Gandhi," said Goyal.
Goyal runs various businesses like software companies and a private equity firm in Europe and the US. He is also editor-in-chief and owner of a Moscow-based English newspaper, The Russia Journal.
Goyal says that he owns houses in Britain, the US, Cyprus, Russia and Switzerland but his heart has always been in India.
"My heart is still Indian and I wanted to return to Chandigarh where my parents live. In fact, I still have an Indian passport. If I win the elections then I will permanently stay here and single-mindedly work for the people."
"I am a staunch follower of democracy and cannot tolerate its discrimination in any part of the world. In 1991, though I was new to Russia, I stood outside the Russian White House in a human chain to protect democracy when communists mounted a coup there."
Recently, he also addressed a huge gathering in March at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar, Uttrakhand, on the invitation of Baba Ramdev.