BJP MP from Haridwar, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank(HT Photo)
BJP MP from Haridwar, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank(HT Photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: ‘Work done in last five years had never been carried out in 55 years’: BJP Haridwar candidate Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

Sitting MP Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has once again been fielded by the BJP from the Haridwar Lok Sabha constituency.
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By Deep Joshi
PUBLISHED ON APR 05, 2019 05:49 PM IST

Former Uttarakhand chief minister and the ruling BJP’s sitting parliamentarian from Haridwar, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, in an interview with HT, rubbished all allegations levelled by his rival, the Congress’ Ambrish Kumar, and claimed he broke all records by ensuring all-round development in the Lok Sabha constituency he represents. Nishank has been fielded again by the BJP from this seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Excerpts:

The Lok Sabha polls are round the corner. How do you rate your chances?

I am getting full support from my constituents. Also, as far as the people’s support to our party is concerned, Haridwar is most favourable Lok Sabha seat in the entire state.

Your main rival Ambrish Kumar calls you a rank outsider. He has alleged that you are re-contesting from Haridwar only to further your political interests.

Is he (Kumar) contesting a Lok Sabha election, or a panchayat poll, where it is a must for a contestant to belong to a particular panchayat area he chooses to contest from? Does Rahul Gandhi belong to Amethi, the Lok Sabha seat he represents? Does former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hail from Rai Bareilly?

He (Kumar) says you stay aloof and seldom interact with the people of your constituency

People of my constituency are solidly behind me. The kind of development work that was done in Haridwar over the last five years had never been carried out in past 55 years.

Kumar says you are not even in the reckoning.

Why is he and his party leaders campaigning so vigorously if I am not in the reckoning? Let me tell you that it is I who ensured the merger of Haridwar in the hill state when it was being bifurcated from UP. Kumar strongly protested against it.

The Congress candidate has alleged that you were replaced as CM after you were indicted by a CAG report for corruption in organising the 2010 Maha Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.

Let him (Kumar) withdraw his allegations immediately. Or else, that would amount to contempt of court and he will be sued. There has been no allegation of any kind against me ever.

How confident are you about your chances to win?

Ask the people. Over 10 lakh people in Haridwar personally benefited from various schemes during my first five-year term as a parliamentarian; more than one lakh people got free cooking gas connections.

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