The BJP candidate from New Delhi constituency, advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, is pitted against sitting MP Ajay Maken of the Congress and journalist-turned-politician Ashish Khetan of the Aam Aadmi Party, which had won in 7 of the 10 segments in the Delhi Assembly elections. She talks about her campaign and prospects.
Do you think that the clean image of Ajay Maken gives him an edge in the elections?
Ajay Maken’s ‘clean image’ is absolute nonsense. The clean image may be built by the media but actually there is nothing clean about Mr. Maken. His name had cropped up in the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna scam and the Kathputli Colony scam. He has done nothing in the last 10 years and has been completely absent from the constituency. Several RTIs have shown that most of the money from the MPLAD Fund for the New Delhi parliamentary seat has been left unutilised. He promised homes to people in the Kathputli Colony but they are nowhere in sight. Land worth several hundred crores was handed over to the developer for a petty sum.
Yes, recently the AAP candidate and your opponent Ashish Khetan raised the issue of scam in the redevelopment of the Kathputli Colony and released the DDA Audit Cell report that talked about “undue favours” to the Raheja developers.
My party’s local MLA has been actively working for the artistes in the colony, but ever since the AAP guys realised that we have a strong support base among the locals, they have been trying to be active in the area and attempt to break the votes.
A day ago Ashish Khetan went there late in the night to campaign which as I heard also led to an FIR being registered against him.
How do you plan to convince the electorate to vote for you when seven out of the 10 Assembly seats went to AAP?
Here is a guy (Arvind Kejriwal) who resigned as the Chief Minister of Delhi but he is still the MLA of the New Delhi Assembly constituency. Has anybody found what all he did for his constituency? He has been a complete failure in sorting out problems for his area.
Behind the glitter of the New Delhi area lie the dark spots. Next to every posh colony or a decent locality lies a slum. It’s unbelievable that even in an area like New Delhi there are places where people defecate in open. Some health centres in the NDMC area have been shut. Children are not getting admission in schools. This is the progress report of the sitting MP for last two terms and the AAP government’s rule.
So, who between the AAP and the Congress, do you think is the main challenger for you?
The AAP and the Congress had joined hands long time ago, which we also saw after Delhi Assembly polls. The AAP’s politics is not new. Its politics is to divide votes. The new politics belongs to Mr. Modi. He will take the country on path of development and entire Delhi will vote for him.
What have been the main challenges for you as a first-time candidate facing elections?
I have been active in politics for quite some time now. People know me and recognise me wherever I go. To be quite fair to people they have already made their mind on whom to vote. Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister of the country and people have been telling me that they will make him the PM. Nevertheless, I have to cover the entire constituency.
Last time Mr. Maken defeated Vijay Goel by a very big margin. Do you think you will be able to bridge that gap?
This is not 2009. This time it is an entirely different picture and a different wave across the country. People want to teach the Congress and the AAP a lesson for taking them for granted in Delhi and at the Centre.
We will defeat both the parties by a very big margin.