Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari spoke to Hindustan Times as his party raced to a landslide win in municipal elections on Wednesday. He blamed the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi for not letting the municipal corporations function properly. In its third term in the corporations, he assured, the BJP will make Delhi free of garbage in the next three months.
Q. The BJP had a decade-long anti-incumbency to deal with. What do you think helped the party buck the trend?
A. It has been proved that only ‘Modi can do’ (reference to BJP’s campaign, tumse na ho payega). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is incapable (of developing Delhi). It is clear that the people of Delhi is fed up with the negativity being spread by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. They have reposed trust in the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The strategy by party president Amit Shah and the hard work of our workers facilitated the emphatic win. The three municipal corporations should have worked more to meet people’s expectations. Our councillors had failed to project their achievements adequately but the people of Delhi understand that the corporations were not allowed to work. Obstacles were created by the AAP government.
Q. The Aam Aadmi Party is blaming the EVMs for the poll debacle. What do you think went wrong for the AAP?
A. A man with ‘destructive mind’ had captured power by cheating. He says, ‘eent se eent baja dengey’. What does it mean? Delhi had chosen him for constructive work. Now, he is threatening people with dengue and chikungunya. He is expected to work for their welfare but he is threatening that water and power bills will go up.
Delhi is a pleasant place but because of his daily confrontation and his nonsensical arguments, it has become a centre of negativity. To reclaim their city, Delhiites have given a clear mandate to the BJP.
Q. Though the Congress has gained a sizeable vote share, it looked like a contest between AAP and BJP. Are these results a referendum on AAP and the Delhi CM?
A. Absolutely. This was a test of his government’s performance. He should immediately resign from his post. Kejriwal talked about ‘right to recall’ in a democracy (during the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement). Hope, he remembers. He has lost the moral right to continue.
Q. The municipalities in Delhi are plagued by multiple problems. The sanitation scene has been grim. What will be your priorities now?
A. First four months will be crucial for us. We will have to execute what we promised to the people of Delhi. Our priority will be to make Delhi a city which is free of garbage. We will also mark areas and roads, which are not under the jurisdiction of civic bodies. We will tell people those roads belong to Public Works Department of the Delhi government.
Next target will be prevention of outbreak of dengue and chikungunya. So, we will start fogging and spraying insecticides as soon as possible. In the next six months, we will finish all pending jobs.
Q. Why is this victory important for the BJP?
A. If the party has got a massive mandate after 2014 general elections again, it is a good sign for our future in Delhi. This is certainly a big message. We made an honest attempt and the people have accepted it. We have won this election but our efforts will not cease here. We will keep meeting people and connecting with them.