“We Have Always Strived For Eradication Of Problems Of The People Of Delhi”
Recently Satish Upadhyay was chosen the Delhi BJP President by the party high command. He tells about his future programmes and challenges faced by the party while talking candidly with Deepak Kumar Rath, Editor. Excerpts:
Having been elected as the President of Delhi BJP, what are the immediate challenges before the party?
There are, no doubt, many challenges before the party. With every new responsibility we get an opportunity to work in different ways and with work comes responsibility. To convert challenges into opportunities and to enjoy in what we do should be the motive. But there are many challenges like revamping the whole organization, giving suitable work to the party workers, utilising the power of youth, giving women equal opportunity, integrating SC/ST sections, and taking benefits from our seniors’ experience. People from different states come to Delhi. They come from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Kolkata, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Haryana etc. They all have some aspirations and giving a safe atmosphere to these people, providing security to women, good governance and making a good image of Delhi are all my priorities.
But what is the main challenge. The media is replete with reports whether the BJP will form the government in Delhi or not. What is your take on this?
We haven’t yet got the proposal to form the government. I believe Delhi can’t be kept in uncertainty because till there is no elected government, there will be no good governance. All the problems in Delhi like electricity, water, traffic, employment, bad conditions of hospitals, schools and colleges, problems of slums etc cannot be solved. For the last eight to nine months Delhi has been suffering due to derailment of the government. To some extent, AAP and Congress are responsible for it as they formed the government but the former ran away from its responsibility, as it was seemingly in hurry to reach 7 RCR. We need to understand the need of the Delhi people. Do the people of Delhi have to face the elections in every four months or every year? Do the people of Delhi have to bear the brunt of elections? If there is no option available, then BJP is ready to go to elections. We will go to elections, win with a thumping majority and will give the state a better Chief Minister. Kejriwal has accused Delhi BJP of bribing. He said that the party is offering an amount of Rs 10-20 crore, but this is all rubbish. I would only say that he is a great producer, director, script-writer and an excellent actor. Kejriwal alone can play all these roles well. He is continuously uttering lies in front of the people of Delhi, and can blame us for each and everything. But if the Lieutenant Governor asks us to form the government, we’ll discuss with our members and thereafter we will move forward on this issue. We’ll definitely look into this matter and it’ll be a collective decision.
Please be more specific on forming the government.
Although we don’t have the number, but if this condition persists, we will think about it. What happens in future I will not lie about it. People think that there will be no elections in Delhi. But I cannot forecast anything about such a situation.
Recently one of your MPs Ramesh Bidhuri said if the central government wishes to form the government then we have all the numbers. What will you say about it?
He is the right person to answer this question. But if you ask me then I will tell you that neither I am in touch with any MLA nor did I have a word with anyone. If the condition is favourable then surely we will think about it.
It has been in news that the RSS doesn’t want BJP to tie-up with any party to form the government and on the other side party MLAs are not willing to contest elections so soon. Being the Party President what is your reaction on this?
For us RSS’s suggestions are very important. Whatever inputs they give us we try to utilise them for the betterment of our party. We’ll consider all the inputs and take a collective step. Whether we form the government or not, it’ll depend on the future situations.
There are some media reports that a few Congress and AAP MLAs are inclined to join SAD which will eventually help the BJP in forming government in Delhi. What is your comment?
I don’t have any information regarding this. SAD people will answer this best. Shiromani Akali Dal is in a coalition with us since ages. It started around 1963- 64. Syama Prasad Mookerjee had forged this relation and it’s still continuing. Now what’s going on in that party, or who are joining them, these can be explained by them only.
Issues like electricity, water, employment, traffic had contributed in the phenomenal rise of AAP in the last elections. It also formed the government. These issues are still in the air and AAP has resurfaced with its “dharna” etc. Your government is at the centre and what are you doing in this regard?
We have always strived for eradication of these problems of the people of Delhi . Both Congress and AAP don’t have the right to speak on these things as these problems are created by these people only. We have mentioned in our manifesto that we will try and put an end to these problems at the earliest. I would like to thank our Central Finance Minister for allocating Rs. 700 crore for eradication of these issues and for development of basic infrastructure in the city. It will help in development of Delhi .
Will the electricity rates be revised?
DRC has increased the electricity rates by 8.5 per cent and it seems that it is lesser than the effective rate, as they have reduced the rates in power purchase. We mentioned in our manifesto that we will reduce the rates by 30 per cent after coming to power. Since it’s not happening, we have demanded from the Central government that it ensures the subsidy for Delhi. Earlier, the government used to give subsidy apart from the plan budget. They would stop the development projects and then give the subsidy to appease people. We have demanded from the Central government that till infrastructure is not in place, till fiscal deficit is not reigned in, the medium class people, who use 200 to 600 units of electricity, should be given subsidy.
If you form the government, will the illegal colonies be legalised?
We have promised in our manifesto that not only we will legalise these colonies, also development works will be undertaken there. Problems related to electricity, water and sewage will be eradicated and that is our priority.
Now you have been made the state head of the party, and your team is also new, what will be the priority of this team?
My priorities are clear. It will amalgamate the experience of the elders, passion of the youth, women and minority partnership. We will take along all people in our endeavour to bring the necessary change in the city.