'Jain pales before me'

Updated on Apr 23, 2004 03:09 PM IST

INLD's Harmohan Dhawan talks of his chances from Chandigarh constituency.

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PTI | By, Chandigarh

Harmohan Dhawan, contesting on the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) ticket from Chandigarh, has said that BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal have failed to deliver. “Both have been given two chances each and every time they have disappointed,” he said, adding that performances of  both pale in front of his record.

Dhawan asserts this time his job is not to be a decisive factor, but he means business. He mocks at the claims of Bansal regarding spending his MPLAD fund. “You don’t even get a house in Rs 2 crore. And this is all he has to boast of in his entire term as MP. Tell me what does Rs 2 crore mean in a city that has an annual budget of Rs 1,000 crore?” he questions. Excerpts:-

Do you think you can win?

Both Pawan Kumar Bansal and Satya Pal Jain have been MPs for the past 15 years. Both have also been MPs when their governments ruled at the Centre. Yet what have they done for the city? Look at their manifestoes, all their promises remain unfulfilled. Leasehold is back, building byelaws are yet to be amended, and CGHS extension is still awaited. The city hasn’t got often-promised ‘A’ class status, ‘lal dora’ remains as it is, demands of UT/ MC staff remain unresolved and so does the issue of SC certificates. The sword of the Rent Act notification is hanging over our heads. I am amused when Bansal boasts that he has spent the MP LAD fund of Rs 2 crore on the city. I want to ask what is Rs 2 crore? You can’t even build a small stretch of road in that amount. And this is all he has to boast of in his entire term as MP. Tell me what does Rs 2 crore mean in a city that has an annual budget of Rs 1,000 crore?

People are aware of all these things. They are fed up of both these leaders and I have presented an option. They know I can and will get their works done. All these factors indicate my victory. The SAD support will ensure my win with a comfortable margin.

But why should people vote for you and not for a national party?

They have tried and tested the national parties and have been utterly disappointed. Both Jain and Bansal pale, when their performance is compared with mine. City residents still recall all the work I did as the MP. I got Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, Kajauli waterworks and Mauli Jagran Rehabilitation Complex for this city in such a limited period. I have a track record. Moreover, INLD president O.P. Chautala has already declared that after elections we would be supporting the non-Congress government at the Centre, which means we would support Vajpayee should he be the prime minister.

Is it not true you entered the fray with the sole objective to take revenge on Bansal and ensure his defeat?

I am a man with a positive approach. I am contesting to win. Yes, I am unhappy with Bansal for whatever he did to me. But it happens in politics. It was a wrong decision to join the Congress.

Are you sure your decision to join the INLD is a wise one?

I have always been associated with Devi Lal and Chandrashekhar, except for a small stint with the Congress. One reason for my loss in polls used to be that I didn’t have a party name to back me. The INLD has provided me the answer. The party enjoys huge support in city from jats and Haryana employees...I understand some people may have problems with the INLD but they also know they would be better placed to have them addressed if I am chosen.

Why your party gets active only during polls? Last time we heard of your party during MC polls, two years back.

This is not true. Only two years back we contested MC polls. I have been always active except during the past year or so after my brother’s death.

Many people believe you look weaker, physically, financially and politically?

I am doing fine. The campaign shows my support has remained the same, whether I visit colonies, villages or the city. People endear me as ever.

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