Delhi Elections 2020: ‘Only one party should rule MCDs, state and Centre for triple-engine governance’: Prakash Javadekar
Ahead of February 8 Delhi assembly polls, BJP’s Delhi elections in-charge Prakash Javadekar claimed, “we are getting a full majority. People will vote for us for based on the work done by the Modi government and the experience people have had with the Delhi government in the last five years.”Updated: Jan 10, 2020 05:44 IST
Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Delhi elections in-charge, Prakash Javadekar, spoke to Shivani Singh and Risha Chitlangia about the February 8 assembly polls, the party’s main talking points to the electorate, the performance of civic agencies, the anti-CAA protests, and police’s handing of the Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University incidents.
Is the BJP going to announce a CM face or is it going to be a ‘Kejriwal vs Modi’ contest in Delhi?
This question has no value because every state has a different election and every party has a different strategy. We have already said that we are fighting on the Centre’s performance. We are fighting on our performance in the MCDs (municipal corporations). The present government has failed miserably.
Is the BJP’s reluctance to announce a CM face due to the bad experience in the past?
It is not about reluctance, it is about strategy. I need not reveal the strategy to you.
What is the BJP’s top agenda for the Delhi elections?
The BJP’s main plank is the work done by the central government. The election is about good governance versus misgovernance and nationalism versus anarchy. The Modi government at the national level has taken many historic decisions. All (central) ministries have done tremendous work for Delhi than what the Delhi government has done for the city. Development is our plank. We are going ahead with an appeal to the voters that there should be a triple-engine for growth, with MCD, state and Centre ruled by one party.
As for triple-engine governance, the functioning of the BJP-led municipal corporations hasn’t been very good.
Kejriwal wanted to take credit for (controlling) dengue. (But) the fogging was done by the MCDs. The training of people to ensure there is no larvae in their vicinity was given by the MCDs, and those who were negligent were fined by the MCDs. Dengue was controlled as all the three MCDs did their job well. He only gave advertisements and did nothing.
Was there not enough effort from the civic agencies to tell people about this?
I agree to an extent that they should have not only acted but also communicated to the people. This is an age of communication where you need to communicate whatever work you do with good intentions.
In the recent Swachh Survekshan results, the three corporations haven’t done well. Your comment.
This is because the Kejriwal government denied them or actually robbed them of ?10,000 crore, which was due to the MCDs in the last five years. This affected all aspects of civic governance.
The AAP and the Congress criticised the Centre’s decision to confer ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies, saying it doesn’t change anything on the ground as it doesn’t amount to regularisation.
This is simply jugglery. The issue is that people are getting registry and I can tell you that one lakh people have submitted applications….a minimum 50,000 registries will be done before the elections.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari recently said the party will give five times more benefits than what AAP is giving.
He didn’t say that. We will come out with our innovative manifesto. We are taking people’s views.
Do you think subsidised electricity and water are important issues?
No. Teen mahine benefit dene se paanch saal ka paap nahi dhoya ja sakta hai. (You can’t wash away the sins committed in five years by giving benefits to people for three months.)
Will the subsidy continue if the BJP is voted to power?
Please wait for our manifesto.
There have been anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, protests across Delhi. Will it have an impact on the state elections?
There are more pro-CAA rallies [held] throughout India. There have been anti-CAA protests, too, which are political, motivated, instigating violence. It is a misinformation campaign launched by certain vested interests who can’t win through elections and want to disturb country’s progress. It will not have any impact [on Delhi elections]. People will rally behind us.
Who instigated the violence at three places in Delhi—Seelampur, Jamia Nagar and Jama Masjid? It is clear that Congress and AAP legislators, corporators and representatives were involved in it. Both these parties are responsible for the violence.
Will this polarise the electorate?
This is nothing to do with polarisation. The country is one and united.
The Delhi Police’s role both in Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has come under sharp criticism. The Delhi Police is under the Union home ministry.
You were the people who were saying that why did they enter JMI and now you are writing why they didn’t enter JNU. There can be only one truth. You can’t have a different stand in different weeks. Just a week ago, you were criticising Delhi Police for entering Jamia and now you are criticising them for not entering (the campus).
Universities are about academics. In universities, registration for a semester is a usual process. On the first day, 1,100 students had registered (in JNU). Therefore, the union which never wanted registration and academic work to go on, beat up a lady professor... and students who were registering. They destroyed the server room to ensure that nothing goes ahead. This is completely undemocratic.
But there are visuals of masked intruders attacking students in JNU…
All the masked men will be unmasked.
But we haven’t seen any police action yet?
That will happen. Wait for the police inquiry to conclude. It is not a 24x7 news channel. It is a serious investigation and you will definitely get the results.
Instead of finding these intruders, the police registered cases against Aishe Ghosh (JNU students union president who was among those attacked)
They will find out. You are misinformed. It all started 10 days back when a lady professor was beaten up. There was opposition by one (students) union. Ex-president of one union went with people wearing masks to the server room and destroyed it. They wanted to stop the academic work and registration process. This is what you should focus. You should ask why police have not registered FIRs against these things.
In 2015, it was a direct fight between the BJP and AAP. Is it going to be a triangular contest this time?
The elections in 2015 were different because people thought here is a man (Kejriwal) who is a revolutionary, who had promised that he will not take (government) car and accommodation. He had claimed to provide clean governance and bring Jan Lokpal. But nothing happened. In fact, the exact reverse has happened. There are charge sheets against their ministers and MLAs. There is rampant corruption and there is no talk of Jan Lokpal. Modi ji has already brought Lokpal and appointed it. So, we are walking the talk and people understand it.
Despite several amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021, sealing of shops and establishments remains a concern for traders. What’s the Centre doing about it?
The process is on... For 70 years, there has been no cohesive policy for urban development and everything in Delhi practically became illegal. We are tackling it now and have found solution.
Will the BJP talk about national issues such as construction of Ram temple, abrogation of 370 in these elections?
Why, is it banned? In a democracy, people vote for national, state and local issues all together. We have got success in the abrogation of (Article) 370 in the last six months. Terror incidents have come down to a great extent.
Lastly, how many seats do you think the BJP will get this time?
We are getting a full majority. People will vote for us for based on the work done by the Modi government and the experience people have had with the Delhi government in the last five years. Our main plank is development, development and development.