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Home / Lok Sabha Elections / Lok Sabha elections 2019- ‘Kejriwal has put a full stop to full statehood discussion’: Manoj Tiwari

Lok Sabha elections 2019- ‘Kejriwal has put a full stop to full statehood discussion’: Manoj Tiwari

Manoj Tiwari, who is contesting from North East Delhi again, is pitted against three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and the Aam Aadmi Party’s Dilip Pandey.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 02, 2019, 06:22 IST
Risha Chitlangia
Risha Chitlangia
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The BJP MP from North East Delhi, Manoj Tiwari, said the Congress did nothing for the constituency during its 15-year rule in Delhi.
The BJP MP from North East Delhi, Manoj Tiwari, said the Congress did nothing for the constituency during its 15-year rule in Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

Joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Manoj Tiwari, in a short span of time, swiftly transitioned from a singer-actor to a seasoned politician. As the party’s Delhi chief and its Purvanchali face in the capital, Tiwari, the sitting MP from North East Delhi, is credited for the party’s sterling performance in the 2017 municipal elections despite a strong anti-incumbency .

Tiwari, who is contesting from North East Delhi again, is pitted against three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and the Aam Aadmi Party’s Dilip Pandey.

He says the BJP’s rivals have done little for the city, especially the people of North East Delhi. With AAP targeting the BJP for not fulfilling its promise to grant full statehood to Delhi, Tiwari blames chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for putting a full stop on the discussion by trying to stall the Republic Day parade in 2014.

Excerpts from an interview

Has three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s entry made the contest difficult for you in North East Delhi?

She is 81 years old. People generally feel this is not the age to work. It is not the first time she is contesting from North East Delhi. She had contested from here in 1998 and had lost by a huge margin. It is not going to a tough contest as people know she had ignored the area during her tenure as the chief minister of Delhi. North East Delhi was in a miserable condition because of her.

Between AAP’s Dilip Pandey and Dikshit, who is your main opponent?

They both are the same. Both the Congress and AAP have not done anything for the city. During her 15-year tenure as Delhi CM, she could not ensure clean drinking water to people, provide better education in schools, open new colleges and the list is long. She deprived the people of North East Delhi of essential facilities. She stalled work on Signature bridge for nearly 11 years.

AAP is the same.They failed to deliver on their promises. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wanted to delay the completion of Signature Bridge till 2019.

What are your major achievements as North East Delhi MP?

I have delivered on my key promises, such as completion of Signature Bridge, starting a Central school (work has started), beautification of the Yamuna and providing Metro connectivity. Congestion is a major problem in my constituency. I had promised to address it but didn’t know what to do about it. I had requested Union transport minister Nitin Gadkariji to address the issue and he
got an elevated corridor
along the Pusta Road sanctioned.

Making Delhi slum-free and regularisation of unauthorised colonies were also some of the key promises of the BJP. But not much has happened on these issues.

A lot of things were said then with the hope that we (the BJP) will be in power both at the Centre and the state. The promise to make Delhi slum-free can’t be done without the Delhi government’s cooperation. It was our government at the Centre that got the Metro in Delhi but Sheila Dikshit ji was the chief minister. If Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had maintained a similar relationship with the Centre, Delhi would have benefited a lot. There are so many non-BJP ruled states, which have benefited from the policies and assistance provided by the Modi government.

AAP is targeting the BJP for not delivering on its promise of full statehood for Delhi. What is your view on full statehood?

They are lying; we never promised full statehood. In the last six years, we have never said we will give full statehood. We have said the issue should be analysed in detail. There should be an
all-party meeting to discuss it.

They were trying to stall Republic Day parade (in 2014). We had said we will think about it. But after Kejriwal tried to stall the Republic Day parade, full statehood is no longer an issue in Delhi. He is just making it a political issue.

Providing buses, cleaning the Yamuna riverfront, clean water, electric buses, cleaning drains, etc, are things the Delhi government could have delivered without Delhi being a full state.

If he (Kejriwal) has the guts, he should contest in other states (full states) like Haryana.

Traders affected by sealing say the Centre has not done its bit to stop the drive in Delhi.

Through HT, I want to assure people that they don’t have to fear about sealing. We have made 12 amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi to prevent sealing in 90% of the city. But we are not in support of people who have constructed on government land. The SC-appointed monitoring committee has adopted a pick and choose policy.

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