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We are prepared to take on AAP, will win 50 seats: Harsh Vardhan

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 19, 2014
First Published: 10:21 IST(19/2/2014) | Last Updated: 10:34 IST(19/2/2014)

As Delhi stares at another re-poll, leader of the opposition in the state assembly and BJP leader Harsh Vardhan says his party is well-prepared even if the elections are held next week.

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Admitting that the BJP had underestimated Arvind Kejriwal, he says his party as of now is more conscious of the AAP’s presence as a political entity. He has also expressed confidence that the BJP is going to get at least 50 seats if the assembly elections are held again. Excerpts from an interview.

In case the Lt. Governor invites the BJP to form the government, what will you do?
This is a hypothetical situation. If such a situation arises, we will take a fresh look at it. But we will have to see whether we have adequate support or not. We will consult the national leadership and take any decision. At the same time, I maintain that the BJP is ready to fight the assembly elections as early as next week.

How prepared are you for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections? Is the BJP prepared to take on the AAP, which made a spectacular entry last year?
In the assembly elections, we didn’t give the Aam Aadmi Party much importance and attention. We were not able to gauge the kind of presence they had in the city. But the election results taught us a lot of things and we are devising ways to take them on. We are much better prepared to tackle them and expose their lies.

How differently are you going to approach the elections this time?
The strategy remains the same — to reach out to the electorate and expose the lies of AAP and the Congress. Our workers will go door to door to explain the false promises made by the AAP government and highlight their 49 days of misgovernance. We will organise public meets, rallies, and meetings with residents, traders and other stakeholders.

What will be your main issues?
Foreign funding of AAP will be one of them. They have been getting huge funds from abroad with the sole aim of destabilising the city and the country. The high-level corruption and anarchy of the Congress and AAP governments will be highlighted.

The AAP had said the BJP and the Congress did not let the jan lokpal bill to be tabled in the assembly as the party had taken on big corporate houses.

The Janlokpal issue and their resignation was a well-managed, planned and scripted episode done in consultation with the Congress. AAP’s advisory committee has the same people who used to earlier guide Rahul Gandhi. Their alliance is quite apparent.

They are the ones who doled out subsidy to the power distribution companies, that too from funds meant for the welfare of the people. Ultimately, the funds have gone into the pockets of discoms run by the Ambanis. How are we related to any of this? It is nothing but hogwash.

How do you view the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as the chief minister of Delhi?
It was nothing but an act of cowardice. They knew that running the government was not possible for them. They deliberately did this as they wanted to plan for the Lok Sabha elections. All their announcements — free water, slashing of power rates, etc — were either not implemented or were achieved at the cost of developmental work.

If assembly elections are held again, how many seats do you expect?
We will get a minimum of 50 seats. We are well prepared this time round and we will expose all lies of AAP. From habitual liars, they have turned into pathological liars.

Who will head the party in Delhi after Vijay Goel?
This is a question that has to be addressed by the senior leadership.

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