‘Will tackle substance abuse in Sirsa, uplift farmers’: Kumari Selja : The Tribune India

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‘Will tackle substance abuse in Sirsa, uplift farmers’: Kumari Selja

The Tribune Interview: Kumari Selja, Congress nominee, Sirsa

‘Will tackle substance abuse  in Sirsa, uplift farmers’: Kumari Selja

Kumari Selja, Congress nominee, Sirsa



After 28 years, Kumari Selja has re-emerged into active politics in Sirsa, refuting Opposition claims and emphasising her deep-rooted connection with the region. As she navigates through the electoral landscape, her focus remains unwavering on addressing issues such as substance abuse and holistic development. With the looming battle against BJP’s Ashok Tanwar, Selja presents a promising vision for Sirsa’s transformation. In an interview with Anil Kakkar, she speaks on various issues. Excerpts:

The Opposition is making an issue of your return to active politics after 28 years. What do you have to say?

I last contested the elections in 1998 and embarked on ‘Jan Yatra’ from Chautala village in 2000. I held public meetings here in 2003 and 2004. Whenever people of Sirsa asked for help or funds for development, as a Rajya Sabha MP, I contributed to its development. The constituency is quite large and my visits have been frequent. I have kept in touch with people’s joys and sorrows. My father and I consider Sirsa our family. These relationships are not political, they are bonds of love. Some people view this through a political lens.

Our fight is with the BJP and its ideology. It is not a personal battle, nor do I make personal comments because it’s not in the culture of Sirsa to indulge in personal attacks.

Former state president of the Haryana State Congress, Ashok Tanwar, now in BJP, is in the field against you. How do you view this contest?

Our fight is with the BJP and its ideology. I don’t see it as a personal battle, nor do I make personal comments because it’s not in the culture of Sirsa to indulge in personal attacks. Even when we contested against the Lok Dal previously, we did not make personal comments.

What are the challenges, and if you win, what will be your priorities?

There are many issues — development in one place, changing the system, saving democracy and substance abuse. The problem of substance abuse at Tohana, Narwana, Sirsa, Kalanwali, Dabwali and Ellenabad is so severe that it’s destroying our youth. My priority will be to tackle substance abuse. The uplift of farmers and overall development are on the roadmap too.

The BJP claims to be vying for a full majority in this election. Where do you see the Congress?

The BJP’s work is to divert attention from real issues and mislead the public. It has been working on the policy of divide and rule in the name of religion and caste. Instead of addressing real issues like unemployment, inflation, and corruption, it talks about Hindu-Muslim divide. It has raised the issue of ‘mangalsutra’ to discuss the dignity of women. This is not the culture of our country. The Congress will come to power this time because people are fed up with BJP’s lies.

It is being said the Congress is divided into many factions.

There is no such thing. Previously, when we filed nominations, we went alone. But now, the system has changed. Many senior leaders were present at my nomination. Birender Singh, Kiran Choudhry, Randeep Surjewala, and besides them, local MLAs were also there. In Sirsa, all party leaders are campaigning actively.

You have been visiting the Sirsa Lok Sabha area for the past week, how is the response from people?

People’s enthusiasm is increasing. Wherever I go, I meet elders who know my father and me, showing us photos taken with us in the past. People are joining our party from other parties, and the Congress is growing bigger in Sirsa.

If you win, what will you do to uplift women in the area?

Women are now educated and skilled. They should not have to go outside the city for employment. Those not skilled should be provided training so they can become self-reliant.

#BJP #Congress #Kumari Selja #Sirsa


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