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Rebels no reason for worry, graft main issue

india Updated: Apr 05, 2012 01:01 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
MCD polls

With MCD polls just 10 days away, Congress’ Jai Prakash Aggarwal and BJP’s Vijender Gupta talks to Atul Mathur about issues and preparedness.

We are going to the electorate with the state government's achievements - JP Aggarwal, president, Delhi Congress

There were lot of controversies over distribution of tickets. Party workers are unhappy and allege favouritism.
After distribution of tickets, we feel much better placed. We have given tickets to most deserving candidates. There are no issues at all. But we must understand there are lot of aspirations but we cannot satisfy everyone. There was a selection process and a fixed formula of selecting candidates, and that formula worked. We had election committees in each of the seven parliamentary constituencies and those committees have done their job with utmost sincerity.

But there are rebels who are either contesting against Congress candidates or supporting opponents. How are you dealing with them?
Ninety per cent of the rebel candidates have either come back to our fold or have withdrawn their candidature in our candidates’ favour. But we cannot run after each and every rebel. There are some dissidents left and we are talking to them. The MLAs and the MPs of those areas are capable of handling those rebels.

What are your election issues this year?
Five years of misrule and corruption in MCD. We are talking about what we did when we were in the municipal corporation. We are going to the electorate with the state government’s achievements and the kind of development that took
place in Delhi during the Congress rule.

Your priorities if the Congress comes to power.
We will immediately improve the administration of the MCD. We will also focus on sanitation, roads, garbage disposal and improve tax collection.

Some of my very close associates have not been given tickets... there is no nepotism - Vijender Gupta, president, Delhi BJP

There are allegations of nepotism in distribution of tickets and allegations that you controlled the ticket distribution process.
There were more than 8,000 applications. The number of aspirants who are making noises is just 40-50. Most people are satisfied with ticket distribution. The system was transparent and a committee of 20 members democratically selected the candidates on their merit. Those who are talking about nepotism should know some of my very close associates have not been given tickets. We have distributed tickets without any prejudice or bias. I am very confident with the process and the kind of candidates we have selected. They not just have to win elections but have to perform too.

How are you planning to deal with dissidents?
We have expelled some of them. Those who are still in fray against us are our opponents and will be dealt with as any other opponent. But I must tell you, in the history of BJP in Delhi, no rebel has ever managed to win an election. Ours is a cadre-based party and our workers are leaving no stone unturned to make the party win the elections.

On what issues the BJP is fighting this election?
We are fighting this election on ‘corruption and price rise’. We have released book on scams that have taken place in the Congress regime.

But don’t you think you are using national issues in local polls?
These are local elections and we are talking about local issues as well. We have our bag full of our achievements in past five years. But we want public referendum in these elections on corruption and price rise in the Congress government.