Former Union minister and Congress’ candidate from the New Delhi seat Ajay Maken said on Monday that Congress voters who voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi assembly polls would again vote for his party this Lok Sabha election.
Talking to senior editors of Hindustan Times as part of the Unplugged at HT series, 50-year-old Maken said: “Slum dwellers were promised cheap electricity and free water. But the AAP failed to provide it in 49 days. The slum voters are totally disenchanted with it and will vote for the Congress.”
He accepted that after 15 years of governing Delhi, the Congress probably could not meet the aspirations of those living in slums and resettlement colonies and those votes gravitated to AAP.
Congress’ seat tally dropped to the all-time low of eight from 43 in 2008 and the vote share came down by 15 percentage points — from 40.3% in 2008 to 25.01%.
Defending Congress’ decision to support the Kejriwal government, Maken said the issue was discussed at every level. “We were of the view that we should support Kejriwal to prove that it is impossible to fulfil the promises which they had made. This is what exactly happened. Every day he was looking for an escape route. It is not easy to govern,” he said.
Maken said there was no Narendra Modi wave in the city. “If there is a Modi wave, it is confined to only a small segment of society. I don’t see any enthusiasm among BJP and RSS supporters in any constituency which we used to see in earlier elections,” he said.
Asked if he would like to become the CM candidate if Delhi goes to the polls again, Maken said he would be happy to do anything his party would ask him to. “I have served Delhi in various capacities. If I’m given a chance (to become CM) I think I can make a big difference. At some stage, I do want an opportunity to carry out my vision for Delhi,” Maken said.