India Empire’s Anjay Sinha caught up with Mr J.P. Aggarwal, the president of the Delhi State Congress on issues that are relevant in election year. Delhi, a Congress-ruled state for the past nearly 15 years, goes to the assembly polls at the end of 2013. This will be a tough election for the Congress. They have won handsomely three times in a row (1998, 2003, 2008) in Delhi, and getting back to power once more in the national capital will not be an easy task. The main opposition, the BJP, will pull out all stops to prevent the Congress from getting a fourth straight term. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will also eat into traditional vote banks of both parties. Then the regional parties like JD (U) and others will no doubt try and improve on their performances at the last assembly elections. Given such a scenario, Mr Aggarwal has task cut out
What will the main issue for the Congress Party in Delhi Assembly election?
Development will be the main issue during our campaign. In last 14 years of our rule, the capital city has seen significant changes in several fronts like infrastructures, roads, power, and connectivity.
Under whose leadership, the party will fight the election?
Of course, Rahul Gandhi, the national party’s vice president. He is young, dynamic and an energetic leader. The young voters of Delhi easily connect with him. So we want to fight this election under his leadership.
Whether there is a difference between party and the state Government (lead by CM Sheila Dikshit)?
There is absolutely no difference between the party and Government. We are united in our fight. Whatever perception about alleged differences is a mere propaganda of the opposition party, especially the BJP. We are confident that public will again vote us back to power.
|Mr Aggarwal is guided by Mr Rahul Gandhi
||He has ensured victory at the elections
Why has the process of regularization of unauthorized colonies kept on dragging over several years despite repeated promises made in each election?
It is a long drawn process. Multiple authorities are involved as such it requires lot of coordination. We have already regularized most of them and are in process of fast-tracking others. Our party is committed to give a house to all residents in the capital. However in the city with several migrants’ population, the gap keeps on increasing. But we are trying our best to keep our promises.
Will the party give adequate tickets to those aspirants from migrant communities in proportion of their numbers?
We have always given tickets to migrant population in the past elections. We will continue the same policy now. However the final decision on ticket distribution will be decided by the party’s high command.
Power, water and corruption are the main issues being highlighted by the opposition parties. Will these impact the election?
The principal opposition party is in the habit of raising issues which are not relevant to public. In 14 years of our rule, the power and water situation had tremendously improved. Today at least 99% households have a power connection and they even get uninterrupted supply.
As for the corruption issue, it is an old phenomenon, which has no quick-fix solution. There are no direct allegations with proof against any of our leaders. The opposition parties are levelling baseless allegations as they have no better issues.
Is Aam Admi Party (AAP) any threat to Congress?
For our party, the AAP is a political non-entity. It poses no threat to us. The election results will be big revelations for the AAP about their perceived popularity.
Who will be the next Delhi CM, if party wins?