Ambrish Kumar is the Congress candidate from the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat in Uttarakhand.(HT Photo)
Ambrish Kumar is the Congress candidate from the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat in Uttarakhand.(HT Photo)

I have the full support of Dalits, OBC and minority voters, says Congress Haridwar candidate Ambrish Kumar

Congress’ Haridwar Lok Sabha candidate Ambrish Kumar says that his rival, BJP’s Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, is a rank outsider in the constituency.
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By Deep Joshi, Dehrdun
UPDATED ON APR 05, 2019 05:38 PM IST

Congress veteran Ambrish Kumar, who is pitted against the BJP’s sitting parliamentarian and former chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar Lok Sabha seat, in a chat with HT, alleged his rival was a rank outsider who had ailed to push for the development of the constituency. Excerpts:

Polls are drawing near. What is your assessment of people’s mood in your constituency?

It is the people who are contesting election on my behalf. In a democracy, people ought to stand up for the issues facing them, and that’s what is happening in Haridwar this time.

Chief Minister TS Rawat alleged the Congress faced acute shortage of candidates for five LS seats in the state. The BJP sees you as a weak candidate.

If I am a weak candidate why is he (Rawat) making so many rounds of Haridwar campaigning for his party candidate? A candidate is judged by his capability to fight for the issues facing his constituents. Even Congress veteran and former CM Harish Rawat lost both his seats in the last assembly polls. Besides, why does he (Rawat) forget that Nishank was removed from his post (chief minister) owing to corruption charges against him?

Please elaborate.

The corruption charges pertained to the works relating to the 2010 Mahakumbh Mela. He has been indicted in a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General . Nishank has never been associated with the people of Haridwar. He is a rank outsider who is not emotionally attached to people.

Can you cite some examples?

Long pending dues worth Rs 500 crore have not been paid to sugarcane growers. Under the Modi regime, the rate of unemployment has gone beyond 7%. Public sector units are on the verge of closing down and employees are being outsourced instead of more recruitments. Equally dismal has been his (Nishank) track record on the development front.

Please explain

Did he(Nishank) care to build even one hospital equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities in Haridwar in the last five years? Similarly, he has not been able to resolve the recurring problem of traffic congestion in urban areas. The Roorkee-Haridwar stretch of the National Highway lies incomplete for the last 10 years. Several crores were spent in the Namami Gange project but the pollution level in the Ganga hasn’t reduced even a wee bit.

How do you rate your chances from the parliamentary seat you are contesting from?

Nishank is nowhere in reckoning. Caste equations too are favourable for us. I have the full support of Dalit, OBC and minority voters and also those belonging to business community. BJP is a divided house.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: All you need to know about Uttarakhand

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