BJP failed to raise concerns of Chandni Chowk: Congress’s Agarwal : The Tribune India

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BJP failed to raise concerns of Chandni Chowk: Congress’s Agarwal

: Jai Prakash Agarwal, Congress veteran

BJP failed to raise concerns of Chandni Chowk: Congress’s Agarwal

Congress candidate Jai Prakash Agarwal with supporters at his residence in New Delhi on Friday. MUKESH AGGARWAL

In exclusive interview with Aksheev Thakur, Congress veteran Jai Prakash Agarwal talks about a range of issues faced by his constituency Chandni Chowk.

Started career as municipal councillor

Jai Prakash Agarwal started his political journey as a municipal councillor and was elevated to the Lok Sabha from Chandni Chowk in 1984. He won from the constituency in 1989 and 1996 as well. He was shifted to northeast Delhi parliamentary seat in 2009 from where he won by a huge margin. In 2014, Agarwal lost to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari from northeast Delhi. In 2019, Congress fielded Agarwal from Chandni Chowk from where he lost. In 2024, Congress has fielded him again from Chandni Chowk.

14,47,228 voters

  • Chandni Chowk has 791,317 male and 655,911 female voters
  • In 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan won from Chandni Chowk

What effect will the Ram Mandir issue have on polls ?

This election is about the BJP incompetence and not about “mandir”. They have failed to address price rise and increasing unemployment. Moreover, the party indulged in corruption. Electoral bonds are a scam. On top of that, the Centre misused government agencies to target and threaten the Opposition. State governments were toppled in the last few years. Houses of Opposition leaders were raided and they were sent to jail. China has entered India’s territory. These are the issues which the people know and would vote accordingly.

What are major issues in Chandni Chowk which you believe the BJP failed to address in the last 10 years?

Chandni Chowk encompasses the iconic market and has ancient architecture. The constituency comprises Adarsh Nagar, Shalimar Bagh, Shakur Basti, Tri Nagar, Wazirpur, Model Town, Sadar Bazar, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran Assembly segments. So, we have commercial and residential areas and each has its own issues. The major issue for traders in the region is the GST. I will look into everybody’s problems and raise larger concerns of the area in Parliament. I will ensure that tourists are not harassed at Chandni Chowk.

The BJP won the constituency in 2014 and 2019. Why do you think voters will choose Congress this time?

The BJP failed to raise issues of Chandni Chowk in Parliament. I asked 900 questions in the House. I remained connected to the people of Chandni Chowk in all these years. Even during the Covid pandemic. You can ask anybody, it was the Congress workers who came to the aid of the people. Where were BJP leaders? They remained aloof during the crisis. I was born here. I remained connected with my people. My voter ID card address still has the address of my house in Chandni Chowk. My father, Ram Charan Agarwal, and I fought 19 elections out of which I contested nine Lok Sabha polls, one municipal corporation election and one of Rajya Sabha. The rest of elections were contested by my father. This year, I will contest 10th Lok Sabha poll.

Don’t you think that the Modi factor is still in play?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not hold a single press conference during all these years. Even the President of the United States speaks with the media. He did not utter a word on the Manipur crisis. Moreover, he has lied on several issues. The BJP can talk about winning 400-plus seats, but the situation is different. I am sure we (INDIA Bloc) will win all the seven seats in Delhi.

Congress is contesting in alliance with AAP. Is there any issue in coordinating with their party workers?

No, there is no problem in coordination with the AAP. We are getting along well and helping each other.

#BJP #Congress #Lok Sabha

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