You were the only Congress leader to win a Lok Sabha seat (Rohtak) in Haryana in 2014. With the BJP focusing on the seat this time, how important is it for you to win it?
These days, no speech by a BJP leader ends without the mention of my name or the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat. You can see how they have been targeting me in all their statements. (BJP president) Amit Shahji gives a statement, Anil Jainji (in charge of the BJP’s Haryana unit), (Haryana CM Manohar Lal) Khattar sahab, everyone… Two-three days ago, even JJP (Jannayak Janata Party) leader Dushyant Chautala gave a statement that our aim is to defeat Deepender. However, such statements give me confidence that these leaders recognise the fact that people support me, and that I will win. I understand the politics behind their statements. If this time the Congress wins Rohtak by a huge margin, it will be a setback for the state government. Rohtak elections are not just about a Lok Sabha seat. It will set the tone for the future of politics in Haryana. It will clear the way for our return to power in the state. Click here for more election stories
What is your strategy?
The BJP always has a divisive agenda. They believe in the politics of lies. They have not fulfilled any of their promises. They have relied on dividing people. The Congress will win by uniting people. Our approach has always been brotherhood and development.
Will the infighting in the Congress’ Haryana unit affect your prospects?
I would not like to say much about it. I hope all the pending organisational decisions are taken and organisational capacities are built in the party.
Do you hope the Congress will sort out its coordination-related issues (there has been confusion over Hooda’s father Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s role in the elections)?
I hope so.
Have you finalised your campaign plans?
The BJP has been controlling the entire system, including the media. So it’s a challenge for us, but I am positive.
What do you plan to tell the people?
During the Congress regime, 30 big industries came to my constituency, 68 hospitals, 18 colleges, 18 ITIs and eight polytechnics were set up. I will go to the people with my report card.