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‘People voted for Modi, but also for the work I did for the city’

"I would like to thank the senior leadership, Modi ji, Amit ji. I would like to thank the people of the city who placed their faith in me, booth-level workers who stood with me for long hours every day."

Kirron Kher celebrating with party workers at her official residence in Sector 7 of Chandigarh. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

WINNING CANDIDATE Kirron Kher tells HINA ROHTAKI that apart from the ‘tsuNAMO’, it was her own work for the city that prompted the people to place their faith in her again. She specifically thanked her close aide Sahdev Salaria for standing by her like a rock. Excerpts:

It was being said that you were a weak candidate from Chandigarh.

I just want to say, pehle chunav mein ye keh sakte hain…ki ek celebrity ne chunav jeeta hai…par dusra chunav ek insan ki karyshali ne jeeta hai…(In the first win, one can attribute a victory to celebrity, but the second win is always because of a person’s work)

I would like to thank the senior leadership, Modi ji, Amit ji. I would like to thank the people of the city who placed their faith in me, booth-level workers who stood with me for long hours every day, I would also like to thank election in-charge Captain Abhimanyu, city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, former MP Satya Pal Jain and Prabhat Jha.

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Uss insan ka dhanyawad jo 26-27 saal ki umar mein 5 saal se mere sath ek chattan ki tarah khara hai…Sahdev Salaria. (I want to thank Sahdev Salaria, who stood by me like a rock for the last five years) He was the one who set up a booster system at the booth level and strengthened the party.

Was it the Modi wave that worked for you? It is being said that you got votes because people voted for Modi.

Obviously people voted for Modi ji, but they voted for me as well and the work I did for the city. Also I will say ye Modi TsuNAMO hai, Modi ki tsunami nahi. There was no anti-incumbency, rather there was pro-incumbency and you have seen the results at the national level as well.

Every voter knew who their candidate was. I remember I was told that people don’t even know me. Iska jawab janta ne dediya (the public have answered that)…it is difficult to believe that people didn’t know their local candidate. The moment the election process started, I stopped reading local newspapers, I just kept working at the ground level.

Who do you attribute your win to?

Works that I have done for the city, people who placed faith in me and my booth-level workers.

Anupam Kher campaigned for you, was trolled a lot. A video was circulated during campaigning as well.

Kaha tha na hume aadat hai…bheege hue aadmi ko baarish se dar nahi lagta.

What was the turning point during your campaigning?

There was no turning point. We were very confident of a win from the very beginning.

Congress had started levelling allegations on EVMs after round 5.

When Congress won Punjab, MP, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, EVMs were functioning properly. This time too, the EVMs must not be working properly in Amethi but correctly in Wayanad.
Congress is a sore loser, they don’t have the grace to accept their defeat with dignity.

How different will your second term be from your first?

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There are so many works which need to be completed. There are many works which will be completed with a new vision in this term.

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