As AAP declares its candidates for the 22 seats in Haryana, Chandigarh Newsline speaks to Yogeshwar Sharma, who will be competing for the Panchkula constituency in the 2019 assembly elections. Sharma speaks about his party’s agenda, their campaign strategy and the political scenario of the district.
Tell us your life and journey as a politician?
I am a computer engineer by education and have been residing in Panchkula since the past 30 years. I completed my studies from RMIT Australia and then worked with Microsoft for a year. It was after the death of my father that I came back to India and started a business for student immigration. In 2013, I joined AAP during the Anna Hazare andolan. I was impressed that somebody had raised questions on corruption and that inspired me to join politics. In 2016, I was appointed as AAP’s district president for Panchkula and in 2018, I became the party president for Ambala Lok Sabha constituency.
Were there any other contenders for the ticket from the party?
There was not much competition within the party, our Sangathan Mantri Ajay Gautam too was in line, but the party chose me and he supports it to full strength.
When will the campaign begin and how do you plan to carry it out?
Currently, we are designing our projects and outlaying the campaign. Our on-ground campaigning will start today by making people aware about the work done by the Delhi government for the betterment of people under AAP and Arvind Kejriwal.
What will be your main focus for this elections?
AAP in Panchkula will use the skeleton design of AAP’s performance in Delhi. Our primary focus will be on education and health sector. We will be highlighting the result-oriented programme that was carried out in Delhi. We will also take inspiration from it as 90 per cent of the promises were fulfilled under the programmes and the remaining 10 per cent will soon be fulfilled. We will re-habilitate all colonies, including Panchkula’s Rajeev Colony. The estabilishment of better health services and the improvment of government schools to provide quality education to the underprivileged will also be some of the other things we will focus on. We will work to bring institutions such as PGI to the district. We also aspire to set up more colleges for engineering, medicine and other studies, besides working on the industrialisation of the city.
What do you have to say about BJP’s 5-year tenure?
BJP has divided Haryana in fragments on the basis of caste. There has been three massive incidents of violence in the state in the past five years. BJP had promised to set up a university and PGI in the district but nothing has been done. There are no colleges for higher studies in Panchkula and no government has even given it a thought. Health, education and industrialisation remains to be the prime drivers of development of a city, but the governments has taken no step in these directions and they do not find a mention in their list of priorities. BJP is wasting money in re-construction of chaurahas and beautification of the city when basic necessities are missing.
What do you have to say about your contenders, Swaraj India and BJP?
I do not think Swaraj India’s Panchkula candidate Madhu Anand is a leader of the people. She has not done anything for the people of Panchkula. What report-card will she show when she goes to collect votes? As for BJP’s Gian Chand Gupta, he has been sleeping for over 4 years. As the elections were approaching, the party suddenly went into a drive to inaugurate projects, which will help them in asking for votes. I don’t think people are happy with his work.