Kapil Patil, the sitting MP and BJP candidate from Bhiwandi, says proper train connectivity with Mumbai and Badlapur, and tackling water scarcity in rural areas were his priorities.
What are the major development works that you have started in your constituency?
There are a lot of ongoing projects in the area. I have managed to get Rs 28,000 crore for various development programmes. The Badlapur-Kalyan track, the Asangaon-Kalyan track, expenditure on roads, everything has been initiated. I have used up almost all of my funds in six areas in my constituency.
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Your opposition right now is coming not just from Congress but a faction of Shiv Sena as well. Do you think it will affect your voter base?
Since independence, only I have managed to get funds for Bhiwandi by working from the state. So people know me as someone who gets results. Even my opponents can’t deny that I have worked. Sena is our ally, but the people who are opposing me can’t speak for the party. It is their individual decision. I have full support from my party and its allies.
What would your issues be for the upcoming elections?
For Bhiwandi city, we have planned a textile park. The powerloom hub needs a logistical boost. Bhiwandi is a job-generator, so we need proper connectivity to Mumbai and Badlapur by trains. My focus will be on that. For rural areas, we have worked to solve water scarcity. More work on that is needed.
You have been a member of multiple committees in Parliament. Do you think that has benefited the constituency?
I was a member of four such committees. It definitely helped as I would get to know the bureaucracy and the work that I pushed for my area, would get accepted faster. I could also put my ideas and observations from my constituency. Like my ideas on solid waste management was taken up by the committee. This is how I managed to get over Rs 200 crore to tackle the water issue.
How are you going to solve the water issue in a perennially parched area?
The area in my constituency has been the water supplier to Mumbai and Thane. People have sacrificed, so they deserve water. But it is being managed. We have secured water from multiple places, including BMC. We are also planning a new dam in Murbad area.
What about the Bhiwandi Metro and bullet train routes?
When the Metro came to Thane, I requested the CM to extend it to the powerloom hub. It is a great mode of connectivity for the area. The bullet train is also a great development project. The villagers were against the low rates that they were getting and after talking to the CM, I have managed to get it doubled. So now, villagers are willing to give their land.
Do you think the political frenzy that swept the country in a Modi wave will work again?
I think it won’t be a wave this time, it will be a tsunami. Where are all the 56 parties, where is their candidate? Why did all the Opposition join hands to defeat Modi? Because they are sure that if he wins this time, people will not vote for them ever again. Sharad Pawar and the others want to become PM but don’t want to contest. We are going to aim for over 300 seats.
Because of GST, demonetisation and other schemes, the local business class is unhappy with you.
I think this is misinformation. I have several businessmen who claim they have benefited. This is just the minority leaders trying to create a divide by spreading misinformation. The younger generation sees through and supports us.
Will SP be a strong contender to you in this election?
Well, they have a base in this area, thanks to the population that has migrated from Uttar Pradesh. But people trust us, trust the BJP. They would rather go for a leader who has a national appeal and reach. So our voters will not get sidetracked.
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