By: Vivek Gupta
Former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday got a major shot in the arm after the party’s unexpected victory in the MC elections.
“Can you rule Pawan Bansal out?” Bansal said on being asking if the party’s victory had revived his image. He had lost to the BJP’s Kirron Kher in the Lok Sabha elections last year.
He said, “If you study politics closely, elections don’t finish or make leaders. I have an experience of more than 40 years in politics; I have a lot of ups and downs in my public life.”
The former MP said that Tuesday’s victory was due to the good work done by Congress mayors in the past and immoral acts by the BJP. “They had taken away our councillors, taking advantage of the absence of an anti-defection law in the Chandigarh municipal corporation. They even kept trying till last day of the election to wean away more Congress councillors. But their coxing and cajoling did not work,” he added.
On support of nominated councillors to the party, he said that it was clear that nominated councillors as well as the BSP had voted for party candidates. “There is nothing wrong in it since nominated councillors have voting rights, and they had clarified in the beginning that they would vote for the candidate rather than a political party,” he said.
Condemning the alleged involvement of Harmohan Dhawan in threatening BSP leader, Bansal said that the BJP had paid the price for it in the form of the results. One independent councillor too supported our candidates in these elections, he added.
He said that the party’s agenda would be to bring maximum development in the city. Earlier too, Congress mayors had done a commendable job as they made new community centres and new green belts.
“I am very confident that our new team will accelerate the pace of development,” he said. “We will also take up the issue of making two marriage palaces. The proposal was mooted by our Congress mayor in 2011 but the problem is that the land has to be given by the administration. Our new team will talk to the administration for the revival of this project.”
The former MP demanded that the Central government should bring either the metropolitan or mayor-in-council system in Chandigarh so that the local MC could be given more executive powers. “We need a systematic change in MC so that councillors who are directly answerable to public could work for them more efficiently,” he said.
On the question of new Chandigarh Congress president, he said that the party had already taken his views and there could soon be an announcement for the new president.
‘Bring anti-defection law in Chandigarh MC’
Former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal stressed the need for an anti-defection law in Chandigarh. “If BJP wants to have clean politics, they must bring this law for the city besides the system of open voting. Even in Rajya Sabha elections, MLAs do open voting. I also request local MP to have a consensus on this issue,” he said.
‘Cong-mukt statement is unacceptable’
Bansal said that Modi’s Congress-mukt statement was unacceptable. “Narendra Modi is no more PM candidate; he is PM. He must draw this distinction. Because of these things, BJP has done nothing. The latest example is the increase in excise duty on the petroleum products. Given the market rates, prices of patrol and diesel should have gone down by Rs 17 but the BJP did not bring down the prices as desired.”