As Delhi goes to polls on February 7, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay talks to HT about party’s preparations, the decision to contest without a CM candidate and countering an aggressive AAP.
Your party is yet to declare its candidates and the polls are just 25 days away. How prepared are you?
We were ready for polls soon after President’s rule was imposed and we are ready today too. The Modi rally at Ramlila Maidan has only made workers more excited and passionate to work harder. We have done our homework and candidates will be announced in a few days. People supported us in the Lok Sabha polls, and now the cantonment board results have reaffirmed our faith in Delhi voters who have rejected a fractured mandate.
Modi has indicated that the main contest is between AAP and BJP. Will it be okay to write off the Congress?
Our senior leaders have merely exposed AAP’s lies during the rally. If you tell a lie a hundred times, people start believing it to be true. We are merely exposing them. We are going to expose their U-turns all the more aggressively now right from the Janlokpal bill, mohalla sabha and other issues that they have conveniently forgotten. The BJP has the real aam aadmi’s support. We are fighting against both the AAP and Congress.
Will you contest elections?
My job is to ensure our party wins the elections, being the head of the Delhi state unit of the BJP. As far as my contesting the elections is concerned, I can’t take a decision, it is for the party to take a decision. I’m a soldier of the party and will do what they think is best for me.
What makes you confident of getting a clear majority this time?
The Aam Aadmi Party has been completely exposed and people have rejected them. Senior AAP leaders have deserted the party, including some of the founding members. Our main agenda is to provide good governance to Delhiites and this will be highlighted in our campaign. We are delivering on all the promises we had made before the Lok Sabha elections be it the Munak canal issue, improvement of power infrastructure, providing portability to choose your own discom, regularising the unauthorised colonies, etc.
The last time, Harsh Vardhan was your CM candidate. Why go faceless this time?
Our party firmly believes in collective leadership and that is how we fought the elections in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Last time, we had declared a CM candidate as we didn’t have our government at the Centre. We now have the work done by the Modi government to seek support on. People have understood that only the BJP can give them a stable government. The strategy of going faceless has worked in other states and no reason it won’t work in Delhi.
Will full statehood and power reduction be part of your manifesto?
Our manifesto committee will hold a meeting soon and a decision will be taken whether these issues will be mentioned in the manifesto or not. As far as reducing power tariffs is concerned, we are committed to it and the introduction of LED bulbs, power discom portability, and the recent decision on coal auctioning will lead to reduced power bills.