Battle of locals in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk — Interview with Praveen Khandelwal | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Battle of locals in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk — Interview with Praveen Khandelwal

ByAlok KN Mishra
Apr 20, 2024 05:24 AM IST

BJP's Praveen Khandelwal is confident of winning Chandni Chowk seat, replacing incumbent Harsh Vardhan. Campaigning despite foot injury, vows to prioritize healthcare and infrastructure.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded trade leader Praveen Khandelwal from the Chandni Chowk seat for the upcoming general elections, replacing incumbent parliamentarian Harsh Vardhan. Khandelwal spoke to Alok KN Mishra about his campaign, and the challenges he faces. Edited excerpts

Praveen Khandelwal (HT Photo)
Praveen Khandelwal (HT Photo)

How is your election campaign coming along?At a public meeting in the Chandni Chowk area on ahead of Holi, a large number of people turned up. In the middle of the function, the stage broke, and I injured my left foot. It made my campaign challenging, but I have not sat idle even for a single day, and have continuously been meeting people.

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I was born and brought up in Chandni Chowk, and have been working among the people as a trade leader for decades. I am getting good support from traders, RWAs, residents, markets associations — every section of society. The BJP will win all seven seats in Delhi, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return to power with a higher majority.

The AAP and the Congress have formed an alliance for the polls. Does the coming together of the two parties pose a bigger challenge to the BJP?Their alliance is unnatural. Till a few months ago, the two parties used to attack each other, and today they have reached an alliance just for the elections. It is surprising that a large national party like Congress is contesting just three seats in Delhi, and is playing the role of a junior partner with the AAP. By contesting just three seats in Delhi, the Congress has diminished its own political significance.

Do you think there is sympathy for the AAP after Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest?I interact with a large number of people on a daily basis, and the people are happy that Arvind Kejriwal went to jail. PM Modi said with conviction that the corrupt will go to jail, and investigations are on against those who have done corruption to send them to jail.

The timing of Kejriwal’s arrest is being questioned…ED sent him nine notices. Why did he not appear before ED? If you do not respond to summons of the investigation agencies, the arrest will happen by default.

You have replaced the incumbent Chandni Chowk MP…I have not found a single person who said ‘I requested Dr Harsh Vardhan to do some work and it was not done’. He has done a lot of work in the constituency. Even now, the high mast lights are being installed under the MP’s funds, and the work of development is still taking place.

I will earn the dividends of the work done by Harsh Vardhan over the last 10 years.

What will your priorities be if you win the election?I will launch the ‘Aap Ka Sansad Aapke Dwar’ (your parliamentarian at your doorstep) programme. Throughout the year I will sit (by rotation) in all 30 wards in my constituency, where officials will also come and solve the issues of the people.

I will do so much work over the next six months that in the 2025 assembly elections that the BJP will win all 10 assembly constituencies (under the Chandni Chowk parliamentary seat).

The Chandni Chowk constituency needs a multispecialty hospital. I will get the project for a 200-bed multi-specialty hospital passed by the government within 100 days… We have also identified land for it in Keshav Puram.

I will also get a project developed for the undergrounding of overhead electric wires, and I promise that within five years, I will push these wires underground because they are a big threat to the safety of people.

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