Pankaj Sharma/ iamin
Senior leader of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and former education minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, feels the Modi factor will not work in the upcoming Delhi assembly polls.
In an exclusive interview with iamin, Sisodia also claimed that people in the capital think Congress isn't a party worth voting for.
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
This is the third time after launching the party that you are going among the voters. What new will you offer to the people this time?
We have always raised our voice for an aam aadmi and will continue to do so. After winning, we will make Delhi 'India's first corruption free state'. In Delhi, every year more than 2.5 lakh students pass 12th standard but there are colleges for only 90 thousand students. We will look into these issues.
But, if you again fall short of the magic number then?
We believe in positivity and are not concerned about the result as of now.
In 2013 Vidhan Sabha polls, you had beaten your opponent by about 10 thousand votes. But in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, AAP candidate from the same place was way behind the winning candidate. Did you field a weak candidate?
Actually, at that moment there was Modi wave all over the country including Delhi. People voted for Modi, but now the same voters are saying that they will vote us this time as the BJP only showed dreams but did not fulfil them.
Were people unhappy when your party quit the government?
Yes, people were unhappy when we quit the government. But, if you see, our vote base hasn't reduced much. In 2013, 50 thousand people voted for me and again in the Lok Sabha polls, we got 40 thousand votes from my constituency. Interestingly, people who voted for the BJP in 2013, gave their votes to AAP in 2014.
After Lok Sabha polls, Modi has been the face of BJP in every election. In Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra BJP gained a lot due to his popularity. What strategy do you have to counter him in upcoming polls?
People of Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana had no other choice than to choose BJP. But Delhi is different and the Modi factor will not work here. Arvind Kejriwal is the most credible political leader in Delhi.
BJP's false promises have actually made our position strong in Delhi. They are the ones who made promises of bullet trains, schools, hospitals but now they are only talking about Ghar Waapsi.
How strong Congress is in Delhi?
Congress is nowhere. During meetings, people told us that they will not waste their vote this time by voting for the Congress.
Kejriwal went to fight election from Varanasi. What impact did it leave on the voters of Delhi?
The decision brought good as well bad results for us.
What are the key things, you would like to do after winning elections?
Our main focus will be removing corruption and building more schools and colleges. We will also ensure that everyone feels safe in Delhi.
Will you raise the old demand of statehood for Delhi?
For sure, because without full statehood, most of the problems of the capital cannot be solved.
In your party, the average age of the candidates is around 40. Is this a strategy of AAP to field young faces in politics?
Yes, our party has always been in the favour of giving maximum opportunity to the youth.
Today, people like Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh are not with you. Does it hurt?
At Jantar Mantar, we didn't fight for an individual but for all. We didn't fight to get favour of one individual. Our fight was against corruption which will go on.