CM Kejriwal’s arrest has backfired on BJP : The Tribune India

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CM Kejriwal’s arrest has backfired on BJP

CM Kejriwal’s arrest has backfired on BJP

In an exclusive interview with Samad Hoque, AAP’s Dalit candidate Kuldeep Kumar (34) talks about various issues ahead of the General Election. Currently serving as the MLA from Kondli, he holds the distinction of being the youngest candidate contesting elections in the Capital. The excerpts:

What are the key issues in East Delhi constituency?

For the past decade, the MPs representing our constituency have failed to establish a connection with the general public. They rarely engage with the community. The public demands a representative who is a local resident, someone who understands their issues firsthand, rather than outsiders who win elections and disappear. Another pressing issue is the state of law and order. The police force’s performance is subpar, leading to a sense of insecurity among women. Parks have become hubs for drug users. If I am elected as MP, I will aim to address all these security concerns. Land allocation is another challenge. The current MPs have failed to allocate land for essential community services such as schools, hospitals, clinics and marriage halls, even when requested by MLAs. I plan to push for an East Delhi campus of Delhi University and tackle the issue of unauthorised colonies by initiating their authorisation process. Additionally, I will advocate for a metro line serving Mayur Vihar Phase-3 and Vasundhara Enclave, an issue I’ve been fighting for as an MLA for four years. The neglect of critical issues like the Ghazipur landfill site, as well as unresolved traffic problems, needs urgent attention.

Today, people seek a government that unites everyone and works for the uplift of the backward, SC/ST and minorities. We need a government that upholds every word of BR Ambedkar in the Constitution. Unfortunately, the current government is trying to undermine the Constitution.

How do you view the past 10 years of the BJP’s tenure in the Capital?

Gautam Gambhir, a celebrity, failed to understand the dignity of the MP’s seat. He seemed more interested in elevating his own status rather than serving the people. Prior to him, Maheish Girri, who lacked knowledge about the constituency and the Capital, was also elected mainly on the popularity of Narendra Modi. In contrast, I have served as a councillor for three years and currently hold the position of legislator in this area. Throughout my tenure, I have diligently worked for the people.

How do you see INDIA bloc vis-a vis the Modi factor?

This time, the Modi factor isn’t a decisive factor. With the disclosure of data on electoral bonds, it has become evident that the BJP is the most corrupt party in the country. It accepted funds from industrialists, contributing to their wealth. Moreover, it received contributions from the primary accused in an alleged liquor scam and utilised these funds to target CM Kejriwal, resulting in his imprisonment. The electorate is now raising questions and is determined to seek retribution by ousting the BJP from power.

Has the INDIA bloc’s characterisation of the electoral bond as a scam resonated with the voters?

Previously, this information hadn’t reached the voters, but since the CM’s arrest, it has become evident how the electoral bonds favoured the BJP. It has also been revealed that the BJP accepted donations from companies whose drug quality tests had failed. Interestingly, the party that proudly champions Hindutva also accepted donations from beef exporting companies.

Has Kejriwal’s arrest tarnished the party’s image, and what challenges does the party confront in the elections?

I believe the CM’s arrest has backfired on the BJP. It had hoped to dismantle the party and the government with his arrest. However, Kejriwal represents not just an individual but an ideology. If he is released from jail, it will create panic for the BJP. Conversely, if he remains in jail, the electoral bonds data clearly exposes a conspiracy against him. The repercussions won’t be limited to Delhi; the BJP will suffer across the country. For the party, the CM’s imprisonment presents its own set of challenges. His presence would have been advantageous for us. Under his leadership, Delhi has seen significant improvements.

The Capital has voted differently in the Assembly and General Election; do you foresee any changes this time?

The BJP has replaced six out of seven candidates from the previous elections, indicating their perceived failure to deliver during their terms. They are facing strong anti-incumbency

sentiments. Overcoming this challenge will be difficult for them. When they came to power in 2014, they promised to create 10 lakh jobs, reduce inflation and lower fuel prices.

However, they have failed to fulfil these promises. The youth, who have graduated with degrees, are now questioning the government about the rising unemployment, and the BJP doesn’t have any satisfactory answers.

Will issues like Ram Mandir, Uniform Civil Code and Article 370 abrogation play key roles in this election?

The BJP has engaged in political manoeuvres around Lord Ram, but the people have seen through this tactic. If I were to organise a grand Ramlila event in my constituency, would I then seek people’s votes while neglecting their basic needs such as roads and sanitation? Can I expect their votes solely based on matters of faith? People’s faith is personal, but votes cannot be secured solely on these grounds. They will demand to see the vision and progress made in the last five to 10 years.

Do you think there is polarisation in the Capital?

The BJP has always attempted to polarise elections, but Delhi’s population is astute, and there’s a strong bond shared across all communities. People are asking the ruling party tough questions about unemployment, inflation and education.

How do you see Dalit politics in Indian context?

I believe a significant portion of the country’s population, including Dalits, backward classes and minorities, are still deprived of basic rights. The BJP has consistently exploited them for political gains. During elections, they present themselves as champions of Hinduism, but after elections, their priorities shift. This brand of politics will not go unanswered by the people. Today, people seek a government that unites everyone and works for the uplift of the backward, SC/ST and minorities. We need a government that upholds every word of BR Ambedkar in the Constitution. Unfortunately, the current government is trying to undermine the Constitution.

#BJP #Dalits

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