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Home / Lok Sabha Elections / Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘I am a Dilliwallah and will do my bit for the city. People have faith in PM’, says Harsh Vardhan

Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘I am a Dilliwallah and will do my bit for the city. People have faith in PM’, says Harsh Vardhan

In an interview to HT, Vardhan, 64, said he has resolved to beat pollution, redevelop the Walled City and provide relief to traders.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 06, 2019, 07:31 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
New Delhi
Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘I am a Dilliwallah and will do my bit for the city. People have faith in PM’, says Harsh Vardhan
Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘I am a Dilliwallah and will do my bit for the city. People have faith in PM’, says Harsh Vardhan(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Union environment minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Harsh Vardhan is confident of retaining the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat. Pitted against him are Congress’s old guard JP Agarwal and AAP debutant Pankaj Gupta.

In an interview to HT, Vardhan, 64, said he has resolved to beat pollution, redevelop the Walled City and provide relief to traders. “I am a Dilliwallah and will do my bit for the city... The 2019 election is smoother for me than the last election as people have faith in Modi ji(PM Narendra Modi)”.

Excerpts:

This time you will be facing JP Agarwal who has represented the seat thrice. Do you think this will make the fight tougher for you?

Honestly, I tell you, 2019 is a much smoother contest for me in comparison to 2014 (General Elections)...I say this because I have been on the ground for the last 30-40 days and whoever I have met from the rich, the middle-class, a rickshaw puller or an auto rickshaw driver or a slum dweller.... I don’t see a serious contest anywhere. I have been getting overwhelming response from all sections of society and their support has made my resolve even stronger. People only know and trust one name now and that is Modi ji (PM Narendra Modi). It is quite visible that the BJP will sweep all the seats in Delhi.

There is a sizeable Muslim population in your constituency, who are known not to vote for the BJP. How will it impact the election this time?

Again, I must tell you that I see people in my constituency, or anywhere in the country for that matter, as one. I have a lot of faith in the Muslim community, as they have seen the work our government has been doing for them. I totally believe they love me and adore me for the work I have done for them be it in the field of education or jobs. I am hopeful they will give me significant number of votes. As MLA for almost 20 years in my constituency in Krishna Nagar (East Delhi), there were a lot of Muslims and they know the development activities I have done. I am not pessimistic about them. I am highly optimistic of their support.

Only a day before I addressed two meetings of the Muslim community and I found them affectionate and supportive.

Who do you think is a tougher opponent , the Congress or the AAP?

I don’t think the contest is with them. Both the Congress and the AAP will be contesting among themselves for bagging the second and the third position. The electorate knows the party that has worked for them and others who have just spread lies .

Having served as the Union environment minister, people expect you to address the problem of air pollution in your constituency as well as Delhi. What’s your plan?

Making the city pollution free is my resolve and is also there in the party’s manifesto. It is very much an election issue for us and we are serious about it, I don’t know about other parties. I made the city polio-free, I will make it pollution free as well.

It was our government’s efforts because of which the PM was conferred with the United Nation’s highest environmental honour ‘Champions of the Earth Award.’

All this is happening because we have been taking steps. We are committed to the cause of environment. I want to give the future generations the same wealth of clean air and water that I inherited from my forefathers.

How do you plan to address the issues of traders? Also, what are your top priorities for your constituency?

My government has been making all efforts to resolve their issues. We plan to set up an independent body for traders to look into the issues of sealing and other such factors. Besides, coming to priorities, expediting the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Project is on top of my agenda. I was seeking Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s support for a lot of other things I was planning, but he was not forthcoming about it. I am hopeful that after the AAP’s exit from Delhi in 2020, we will be having our government both in the Centre and in city and take up welfare works. Second, we will fastrack the East-West
corridor that has been approved by the union government.

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