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Lok Sabha Elections 2019 | ‘Development plank high on my agenda’: BJP’s Nainital candidate Ajay Bhatt

Contesting for the first time from Nainital seat, BJP’s Ajay Bhatt has to fit into shoes of veteran Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, the sitting BJP MP and fight popularity of ace politician Harish Rawat, his main rival.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 08, 2019 17:41 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
ajay bhatt,lok sabha elections,nainital udham singh nagar LS seat
Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt is the party candidate in the Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar Lok Sabha seat. (HT File )

Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt is fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha election from the Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat. His main rival is former chief minister, Harish Rawat of Congress, making this constituency the most keenly watched political battle in the state during the April 11 poll.

Contesting for the first time from Nainital seat, Bhatt has to also fit into shoes of veteran Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, the sitting BJP MP and fight popularity of ace politician Rawat.. HT’s Neeraj Santoshi spoke to Harish Rawat. Excerpts:

What are the major issues from in parliamentary constituency that you want to focus on?

There are many issues from my perspective that I would like to focus on. Like revival of the HMT Factory Ranibagh, operationalisation of Jamrani Dam in Haldwani, maximum usage of water bodies and reservoirs in US Nagar and Nainital, establishing the medical college in Rudrapur, ensuring good faculty strength and infrastructure at Government Susheela Tiwari hospital and promoting water sports and tourism in the area.

Nainital Udham Singh Nagar Lok Sabha seat is huge, stretching from hilly areas to plains. How are you reaching out to people?

I have reached to a maximum number of people. I have completed 10 of 14 assembly segments here. Within the next few days, I will cover the rest of the assembly segments. From morning till evening, I am reaching out to people through election rallies, meeting people directly in the main markets and on roads. It is not possible to reach everywhere, but I am trying my best. I am also reaching out to people through social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Unemployment and migration from Kumoan and Uttar Pradesh are major issues in your parliamentary seat. How will you address this?

People are migrating to this area, especially Rudrapur, because of employment. Rudrapur has many factories. I agree unemployment and migration are big issues here. For this, our government had constituted a commission, which is seriously looking into these issues. More work is required in these areas, especially increasing the employment avenues for the youth here.

What promises are you making to the voters so that they gravitate towards you?

I will say one simple thing. I have reached this stage after a lot of struggles and hard work. If people elect me, I will simply try my best to work for their main issues or whatever they genuinely wish for. I would like to take this pledge that I will never compromise with the respect of this area and overall Uttarakhand in Parliament if I am elected from this seat. I will work for people of this seat and the state overall by raising important issues in Parliament on a regular basis.

You are contesting from this seat for the first time and your fight is with a veteran like Harish Rawat. What is your edge?

See if Harish Rawat is experienced, so am I. I have been incharge of 10 departments when I was a minister. In the organization, I have been working since my childhood in different capacities. Now, I am the state BJP president. If Rawat was the leader of the legislative party, I was the leader of the opposition. So, I am not worried about the experience; I know I can deliver and work for the welfare of people here given my vast political experience. In my campaigning, I have also ensured to maintain decorum; no personal attacks like people other people are doing these days.

First Published: Apr 08, 2019 17:41 IST