Two-time MLA from Ghatkopar (West) Ram Kadam (47) holds a Guinness World Record for the ‘most number of high fives in one hour’. He clocked 2,181 high fives in an hour after going through more than 2,300 people waiting for a high five during Navratri in 2012, nearly getting to all of them. As the incumbent BJP MLA sets his eyes on a hat-trick this assembly election, he tells Sagar Rajput that a statement he made last year about “kidnapping girls” was misunderstood by the people.
You have been an MLA for two terms (2009 and 2014) from the Ghatkopar (West) constituency. What are the main issues of the constituency and how many have you been able to resolve?
The houses in Ghatkopar (West) are mainly on hilly areas. During rainy season, incidents like landslides take place due to which the people staying in the hilly areas are affected. Retaining walls of their houses has been a priority. Besides, I have put in my best efforts to collect funds with the help of which I have supplied water, constructed roads and toilets. MLA fund is people’s money, so I have never advertised what I have done for them. I have also helped people in need of treatment, have called doctors and provided free consultation and medicine to poor people. At 12 different places in my constituency, my people serve food to poor people. I also organise yatras on a large scale.
This time you were seen giving a speech in Gujarati as well. Is it to woo the Gujarati voters in your favour?
I am born and brought up in Ghatkopar so I speak Gujarati. In some societies I have given my speech in Gujarati, otherwise I have maintained my speeches in Marathi and Hindi.
Are the local Shiv Sena workers helping you in your campaigning?
What is your opinion on the Aarey issue?
We have over 90 lakh trees (55 lakh is in national park itself) in Mumbai. If we look at the ratio then it comes to around 7,800 trees per square kilometre, which is more in comparison to Tokyo, New York and London. But in Mumbai, pollution is more because we have more vehicles on road. Once Metro is introduced movement of around 6.5 lakh vehicles will reduce. The air quality will improve, which around two crore trees would have done.
What are you promising your voters after you are are elected as MLA from Ghatkopar?
Unke sukh dukh main saath dunga (I will stand with them in their happy and sad times).
Bhojpuri films superstar Dinesh Lal Yadav alias Nirhua came to campaign for you. What was the need to rope in star campaigners?
He is a party leader. Party had sent him.
Opposition leaders are saying that BJP is winning election because of the Modi wave, what would you want to tell them?
It’s a wave of progress. People know that Modi and Fadnavis government have been working whole-heartedly. BJP is going to win, let them say whatever they want, there is a wave because we have helped our country in growing.
Last year there was a controversial video that went viral on social media where you were seen promising the youths to kidnap girls who rejected marriage proposals?
It was misunderstood by the people. Days before the incident, a woman from Ghatkopar, who was the mother of a boy and a girl, committed suicide. Later we were told that she committed suicide as her two children eloped with their respective partners and got married. I wanted to tell people that only if their parents are ready, then come to me for help, otherwise there is no need to come to me.