‘Age does not dictate eligibility, I’m a trustee of the party ideology,’ says new Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay. Excerpts from an interview with Pragya Kaushika
Do you, like your predecessor, believe that the AAP is your only opponent in Delhi? Who do you consider as your biggest opponent?
Every contestant — whether he or she is from the BSP, the SP, the Congress, the AAP or any other regional party or, for that matter, is an independent candidate — is an worthy and equal opponent. We will fight against all with the same vigour when the time comes.
What do you think about the AAP and the Congress?
It was sheer frustration and dismay that prompted Congress leaders to attack the house of a BJP Union minister. Arvind Kejriwal too has started accepting his mistake. They want to grab power in Delhi. I do not think the AAP has a votebank.
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As your MLAs have been advocating government formation, what do you think the BJP would do? Will it opt for election or form the government?
Whether to form the government or opt for fresh elections is the prerogative of the party leadership. They will take a decision in consultation with all concerned.
There are senior leaders in the party. You are young compared to them. Do you think this would pose a problem for you and how would you handle the rift in the party?
I will work to sink differences among the leaders and, when all the MPs and MLAs come together, there will definitely be a photo opportunity. We are all together and will abide by the party’s decision. I am a trustee of the party’s ideology and age does not dictate eligibility of the candidate. The cadre should be prepared to bear every responsibility they are entrusted with.
What are the challenges before Delhi?
A good government, more jobs and security for women; these are some of the challenges before Delhi. The priority will be to end the trust deficit, if there is any, among the voters and to strengthen the organsiation.
Do you believe rise in rail fares and inflation would harm the BJP in the upcoming elections in various states?
We have inherited hiked rail fares and poor economic growth from the Congress. The Congress has even emptied the government treasury. The tightrope that we are walking has made the Modi government all the more determined to fulfil the promises we made to people.
How will you address the power and water problem in Delhi?
I wonder what the Congress and AAP did when they were in power in Delhi. It is due to their ill-devised policies and no desire to work for people that Delhiites are still facing decades-old problems. But we still have to wait for a government to solve the problems.
Our detractors will soon know that Modiji has always delivered on his promises. The FYUP rollback, improved relation with our neighbours, announcement on bullet trains… expect more such decisions in the coming days.
Being a councillor yourself, what advice would you give to fellow councillors to make them more accountable?
I had a long session with the councillors on dos and don’ts. Councillors do so much work but it is never acknowledged.
I have asked them to revive ward committees and use social media as much as possible.