Samajwadi Party, Congress, BSP fighting last battle for existence: BJP's Noida candidate Pankaj Singh
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj Singh is contesting the upcoming 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from the high-profile Noida constituency.
In an exclusive interview with Biplob Ghosal of Zee Media, Pankaj Singh, the general secretary of party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, discusses the problems faced by Noida residents.
Ques: What are the issues, as per you, affecting Noida?
Pankaj Singh: Crime, especially crime against women, corruption, lack of basic civic amenities, power cuts are the issues which need to be seriously dealt with in Noida.
Ques: Samajwadi Party candidate Sunil Chaudhary has said that demonetisaion will not be an election issue in Noida. Your take.
Pankaj Singh: Demonetisation is a big bold step to take the country forward, which would definitely yield very good results for the country in the future. Demonetisation shouldn't be looked through the prism of election results.
Ques: What would you like have to say about the cycle tracks being laid down across Noida.
Pankaj Singh: It has been implemented without proper planning. According to me, the money required to build the tracks was less than that which is already spent. A huge portion of public money has been misused.
Ques: You were given an election ticket during 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, but you declined it. Could you shed some light on the incident?
Pankaj Singh: I was given a ticket to contest the elections at that time, but I requested the then party high command to take it back as I wanted to work at the ground level as a BJP 'karyakarta'. Now, after 10 years, the party has again given me a chance again to contest.
Ques: Do you feel the pressure as Home Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh's name is associated with you?
Pankaj Singh: It shouldn't be seen like this. He is my father and it's a matter related to my family. He has worked very hard for the country and the party. He started from the scratch and achieved so much. He has his own political stature.
We have to decide our own path and with the blessing of our elders and working along with the party members, we have to move forward.
Ques: Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, sitting Noida MLA Vimla Bhatham and even your rival candidate Sunil Chaudhary are Noida residents. So there has been a hush-hush talk about you being an outsider. Your response.
Pankaj Singh: My relationship with Noida dates back to 20 years. I have studied here. All this has been said by the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party. I want to ask both the parties, which have ruled the state for years – what have they done during their rule.
There is still so much insecurity amongst the Noida residents; the city has been looted. Noida generates huge revenues, but it is also facing huge civic problems, frequent power cuts. Corruption is rampant.
There is still no public participation in the authority. Both SP and BSP are non-emphatic towards the people.
Ques: What is your assessment of the SP-Congress alliance?
Pankaj Singh: They have already accepted defeat. By agreeing to contest on 100 seats, it is evident that Congress lacks confidence in winning the elections. Even the ruling SP, despite being in power, has lost confidence and is not contesting on all the Assembly constituencies. The SP-Congress tie-up is an “opportunistic alliance” and the electorate will definitely reject it.
While Congress looted the country, the SP during its five years’ rule did no good for the state. And now, both the parties have come together to loot UP.
SP, Congres and BSP are fighting the last battle for existence.
Ques: Your view on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah's leadership.
Pankaj Singh: Amit Shah ji has a deep understanding of party's organisational structure and credit goes to him for making BJP the largest political party in the world in terms of membership. The way he has efficiently worked within the party, we are moving ahead to achieve our target of 'Congress-mukt Bharat'.
As far as honourable PM Modi is concerned, whatever I say for him, it would be less. He is a huge personality. He has made India proud at the international level and have given New Delhi's foreign policy a new impetus. Demonetisation, surgical strikes, Jan Dhan Yojna – all these steps taken by the Prime Minister will help in India's development.
Ques: What will be the first thing you would do in Noida if results go in your favour?
Pankaj Singh: I think corruption should be eradicated from Noida. If this happens, many other problems will automatically vanish.