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Lawyer by profession, politics in blood

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2008 00:30 IST
Naziya Alvi
Naziya Alvi
Hindustan Times
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BJP candidate from Timarpur Surya Prakash Khatri is a lawyer by profession. He has defended clients like Rahul Mahajan, son of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, in the infamous drug abuse case.

Khatri has been a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) since 1980. His 15-year-old daughter shares classroom with the daughter of his opponent and Congress's sitting MLA from the seat. She, however, abstains from telling her friends that her father is a politician. For her, Khatri claims, it is corrupt to be into politics.

What prompted you to shift from the legal profession to politics?

I feel sorry for the bad condition in which people live after five decades of Independence. Moreover, I come from a zamindar family and to think about people's needs is in my blood. Ever since my student days, I have been involved in social work and politics as a member of ABVP. I have also served important posts in the Bar Council of Delhi.

What are the major issues in Timarpur?

Water and sewer are the biggest problems that the residents of this area live with. There is an area called Nehru Vihar in my constituency with 7,000 voters. Despite being established in 1985, the area does not have a post office, there is no bank, no proper bus service, and no water supply. There are 18 DDA parks but all of them are in a pathetic condition.

Why do you think people will vote for you?

People will choose us, as they want to get rid of the Congress. There sitting MLA Surender Singh Bittoo was found to be prime facie involved in the recent land scam involving Ashok Malhotra. You would be surprised to known that even in Muslim dominated areas of my constituency I am equally popular as I understand their problems and don't believe in just appeasing them.

Do you think defending Rahul Mahajan in a drug abuse case may go against you?

Being a lawyer I am free to defend anyone. Moreover, he has not been proved guilty so far. At the stage of framing of charges, the court dropped so many allegations against him and he is already out on bail before the whole world on television. I have defended people accused in murder cases as well. That's my profession.