A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of working for “a few rich businessmen” at a rally in Chandrapur, sitting MP and Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir told The Indian Express that he had secured employment for more than 5,000 farmers’ children using his MPLADS funds — generating more employment in the constituency than all Congress MPs in the country combined. Ahir is seeking a fourth term from Chandrapur against Congress candidate Suresh Dhanorkar.
How do you respond to the allegations levelled by the Opposition parties of not having fulfilled the poll promises made during 2014?
I would not have come back to seek votes if I did not have anything to show from the past five years. I have restarted 22 coal mines, which were lying shut. I have also started the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology. Till date, more than 800 students of that institute have got jobs.
Through my efforts a medical college, an early intimation centre for children and a sickle cell treatment centre have also come up in Chandrapur, which are very vital for all of Vidarbha.
I have also got a passport office opened in Chandrapur. After I wrote to the Railways Ministry, trains now stop at stations like Warora and Mool. The railway station in Ballarshah is being expanded and soon, trains to Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Delhi will originate from there.
Voters have accused the BJP government of not doing enough to address unemployment.
Through my MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds, I have secured employment for more than 5,000 children of farmers. Through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, I have got road construction work of more than Rs 12,000 crore sanctioned for Chandrapur, generating thousands of jobs. I also hold the record of having the maximum number of beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat in my constituency. I have generated more employment in Chandrapur than all the 44 Congress MPs in the country combined.
During your campaign you have stressed on the BJP’s achievements in internal security. How important an issue is that in Chandrapur?
This is an area affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), so we are engaged in building roads and telephone lines. A total of Rs 64 crore has been spent on building infrastructure in areas like Jiwati, Rajura and Mool.
As a result, Maoist recruitment in Chandrapur has almost stopped.