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Interview: Our positivity forced Kejriwal to go silent, says Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari

Prince Dhanta and Bharat Upadhya | New Delhi |

Member of Parliament and Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari completed one year in office on November 30. His stint as the Delhi chief appears more than satisfactory for the BJP going by the MCD election results, which were a contrast to the party’s rout in the assembly elections in 2014. The MCD election results have given BJP the hope to repeat its performance in the 2019 general elections (currently all the seven MPs from Delhi belong to the BJP) and of a better tally in the assembly elections the same year. The Statesman talked to Manoj Tiwari to know his views on a variety of issues. Excerpts:

You have completed a year in office as Delhi BJP chief, how do you rate your stint in comparison to your predecessors?

This post was held by very able and great individuals in the past and I can’t compare myself with them. We have been trying our best to strengthen the party in the national capital and we have got good results. We were able to win back people’s faith in the party as the party was able to expose the misrule of AAP and the Congress before that. The good thing is that we could achieve all this through positivity, which is why CM Arvind Kejriwal has gone silent. Interestingly, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken has come up with some data to highlight Delhi’s problems; I want to ask what was his party doing when it ruled for 15 years.

What do you think went in your favour to be elevated as the Delhi BJP chief?

The decision to assign me this job was of the party brass. They may have seen my work as an MP in my constituency and found me worthy of the post. I am dedicated to my work and serving the people wholeheartedly.

After the landslide victory in MCD polls, how are you going to take on the AAP in the 2019 elections?

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP will win all the 7 seats again as all our MPs are working day and night for the betterment of their respective constituencies. We are thrilled by the response and feedback coming from the masses.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari being congratulated by party workers on his completing a year in office in Delhi. (Photo: SNS)

What in your view is the biggest failure of the Kejriwal government in Delhi?

Arvind Kejriwal government has failed on all fronts. AAP had made 70 promises to the Delhites ahead of polls and has not delivered any. Kejriwal is befooling people by showing wrong figures and facts. Whatever achievements being claimed in education and health sectors are false. He has been supporting corrupt people and has pushed Delhi five years backward.

Delhi is fast becoming unlivable due to pollution. What steps do you think needs to be taken to check pollution? How effective is odd-even scheme?

The odd-even scheme is not suitable for Delhi. Had the BJP in power, we would have used Rs. 1002 crore green tax to run 500 electric buses and made the waste management plant operational to dispose of the crop stubble in consultation with the governments of the neighbouring states. BJP believes in work and we don’t show a pretty picture through fudged data.

What is the biggest achievement of Modi government, which you think will help the BJP in next assembly and LS polls?

We are in the opposition in Delhi, still we brought Rs. 36,000 crore from the Centre for the betterment of road connectivity in the periphery so that transport vehicles need not enter the national capital. This will minimise traffic jams. We are ruling the civic body and not a single life was lost due to dengue and chikungunya this year. This is our achievement and we want to continue with the good work.

Ever since Arvind Kejriwal took over as the CM, the successive LGs have suddenly rediscovered their powers to oppose government decisions. This never happened in the past. Will this conflict continue if the ruling parties at the Centre and Delhi are the same?

There is clear demarcation of powers vis-à-vis posts and departments in Delhi. The person holding a post should have the liberty to do the job. But politics is being played on every issue. Delhi government questions the condition of the nullahs coming under the MCD, but doesn’t mention the one managed by the PWD. Till the time the conscience (of Delhi government) is not clear, we can’t expect solutions to come easily. Since Delhi is a national capital territory, the stakeholders in governance here are different as compared to other states. We need a very understanding and cordial person to run the show in Delhi and, unfortunately, we have quite the opposite at the helm. Sheila Dikshit ruled for 15 years and there was not a single conflict with the LG.

You made a shift from cinema to politics, why?

I left the glamour of cinema for serving the masses. I fully enjoyed my stint as an actor and received immense love from my fans. Now, it’s time to pay back people who made me what I am.

Your take on Gujarat and Himachal elections…

The BJP is winning by a big margin in Himachal and Gujarat. India is fortunate to have discovered ‘the poor’s son’ and honest leader like Narendra Modi. I appeal to the people to stand by him till 2024 general elections.