Delhi: You don’t get votes on somebody’s face value

Published: November 11, 2013 - 13:13 Updated: February 3, 2014 - 02:03

“I am not concerned with Gujarat. I am only concerned with Delhi.” Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel speaks to Hardnews

Sadiq Naqvi Delhi 

You seemed to be the BJP’s lone face against the Congress government in Delhi for the last so many years. Suddenly, the BJP’s parliamentary board has announced Harshvardhan’s name as the CM candidate…

There is a democratic process in the party which takes such decisions. They decided on his name. It is fine. 

There are rumours that you have been offered a role at the Centre. A RajyaSabha seat or a ministerial berth if BJP is voted to power…

I have been a minister in the NDA cabinet. I have also served as an MP and MLA. So these things really don’t matter.


There is a feeling that in-fighting has increased in the Delhi BJP after NitinGadkariwas  made in-charge?

No, it is not like that. He has been helpful in bringing back people who were upset with the party. I can’t name them.


The elevation of NarendraModi also saw the party divided…

No, why should the divide increase? The partymen are excited that he has been made the PM candidate. The youth of the country thinks that he can lead the country to greater heights. The country is in a doldrums, there is a feeling that the only man who can save it is Narendra Modi.


What are the issues the BJP plans to take up in Delhi?

Price rise and corruption are the biggest issues for Delhi and the rest of the country. The other big issues are electricity, water supply, health, education and the safety of women.


Do you think corruption is that big an issue?

Yes, it is a big issue. Corruption is linked with development. There can be no meaningful development till there is corruption. If the government takes money from the power companies, how will it reduce the tariffs? Both things can’t happen at the same time.


Don’t you think AAP’s campaign is ahead of the BJP?

No, I don’t think so. If they seem to be ahead that could be because they are spending more money. Otherwise, they don’t have workers anywhere. The party is yet to stand on its feet. I don’t think they will get even one or two seats.


They still manage to pick up issues before the BJP. Like high price of electricity…

We have been raising this issue for the last five years.  At the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) rally, ArvindKejriwal came on our stage. He used our stage to abuse us. What sort of a political culture is this? It is just that the media likes his topi much more. 

Didn’t the BJP help them during Anna Hazare’s fast at the Ramlila ground and other places?

Yes, we supported Anna Hazare. We were with him and not with Arvind Kejriwal. 

Arvind Kejriwal was an important figure then as well, as he is now…

You don’t get votes on somebody’s face value. You get votes for good work you do and the set-up you have on the ground. They don’t have workers. They don’t have the candidates. What have they done? All the candidates that they have fielded are from the Congress and BJP. Our B-grade workers, the ones which we had rejected, they have taken them in. 

They are claiming they will win more than 40 seats…

That is fine. You must ask them who did that survey. It is done by YogendraYadav. Who is he? He is from their own party. I am rather surprised why he did not predict 70 seats for his party instead of 41.  

There have been reports that BJP is not able to find a candidate to contest against Sheila Dikshit?

There is no question of not finding a candidate. You should check out the newspapers. I have openly challenged Sheila Dikshit.


BJP’s campaign seems to be all about misrepresenting facts… We have seen Modi doing that. He claimed Gujarat is the top performer. Then we had the RaghuramRajan report which rubbished those claims…

I am not concerned with Gujarat. I am only concerned with Delhi. Do you think there is development in Delhi?


Delhi has seen considerable leaps in the last 15 years under the Congress government…

I don’t think so. There are 50 lakh people living in unauthorized colonies,  30lakh people living in the JJ colonies, 10 lakh people are living in the slums, another 10 lakh are in the villages. So, in a city where more than 50 per cent people do not even have the basic facilities, can you call it development?    

“I am not concerned with Gujarat. I am only concerned with Delhi.” Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel speaks to Hardnews
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi 

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This story is from print issue of HardNews