‘It’s the govt in the state that makes the difference’
What projects have you been able to get for Mandi?
Pratibha: As the MP representing Mandi, I have tried to ensure development of the constituency by raising demands with both the state government and the union ministries. The Centre has approved Rs 240 crore for afforestation under the union environment ministry’s compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority. The union ministry of urban development has sanctioned a water supply scheme of Rs 1.39 crore for Manali, Kullu and Rampur. I also made efforts to four-lane the Kiratpur-Mandi highway and start an ESI medical college in Mandi. I also took up with the ministry of defence the matter of issuing NOC (no-objection certificate) to start a steel processing plant at Kandrori in Kangra district.
Have you been able to fulfil your poll promises? If not, why?
I have made efforts to fulfil the expectations of people both in terms of providing basic facilities such as link roads, water supply and sanitation and community demands such as serais, yuva and mahila mandals and bhawans. No repairs of roads were done in the past many years, causing inconvenience to orchardists in marketing their produce. There were no teachers in schools, no doctors in hospitals, and patients were suffering. Our government is trying to ensure there are good roads both link roads and national highways. I wish to connect left-out villages of the constituency with link roads and ensure every school has classrooms, furniture and infrastructure. We need to provide each village with irrigation, drinking water and drainage facilities. But the MPLAD funds are not sufficient for all demands.
What helps most? Being a royal, a woman or the CM’s wife?
As the CM’s wife, I can raise demands relating to my constituency but there is no discrimination in terms of ensuring development of any area. Women find it easier to relate to a woman and come to me with their grievances. And it is more about loyalty than royalty. The CM has served Mandi for decades, people still vote for him, not me.
Why should Mandi re-elect you?
My present tenure as MP has been less than a year. Over the next five years, I can multiply the gains. I am accessible to my people and the doors of my home in Delhi are open for my people at all hours of the day.