“No anti-incumbent against the BJP” – The Statesman
Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta began his political journey in 1986 as a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He moved to Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 2001 and officially joined the BJP in 2009. He was elected from West Patel Nagar constituency to the Municipal Corporation and was appointed mayor of North Delhi in April 2018. He served as president from Delhi BJP. since June 2020. In an interview with Aparajit Chakraborty, Gupta talks about the performance of the AAP government in Delhi and how he proposes to strengthen the BJP in the national capital.
Q. How do you see the performance of the AAP government which has ruled Delhi for seven years now?
A. The Delhi government led by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal listed 70 promises in its election manifesto during the last elections. From free metro and bus rides for women to installing CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi hotspots, the Delhi government has desperately tried to provide ‘freebies’ without any consideration for need. real Delhi. This “free” program drew strong criticism not only from the opposition but also from their ardent supporters. There has been no new development for Delhi or its citizens. These days, Kejriwal is busy re-branding himself in the media and with the public. AAP failed in Delhi in handling Covid during the second wave. No oxygen plant and appropriate sanitary arrangements have been made. The Kejriwal government has failed to work on important issues such as electricity, water, road infrastructure, public transport, health, food, rations and PDS, pollution control and environmental management. So, in a nutshell, the performance of the Kejriwal government has been extremely poor.
Q. Why has the Delhi BJP not been able to win a single election to the Assembly since 1998?
A. The BJP lost power in Delhi in 1998. The AAP’s main opposition was Congress led by Sheila Dikshit in 2015. Arvind Kejriwal defeated the triple chief minister of Congress who was facing corruption charges. Since the AAP’s claim to fame was its anti-corruption stance, people voted for it. However, the first five years of AAP’s rule in Delhi revealed its true face to the people. AAP countered its declining popularity by promising freebies in the last election. AAP’s involvement in the Delhi riots, mismanagement of the Covid pandemic and the recent DTC bus corruption scandal have significantly tarnished its image. In addition, the BJP won a majority in Lok Sabha for two consecutive terms. Moreover, since 1997 the BJP has won the MCD elections, except for a short period in between. As a result, the position of the BJP in Delhi has been strengthened.
Q. The central government headed by Narendra Modi enacted a law that says Delhi government means Lieutenant Governor. Isn’t that an insult to the democratically elected government in Delhi?
A. Delhi law and order, land and service matters have always been the purview of the GL. There was no problem on the question of the division of duties and responsibilities between the LG and the state government until the AAP came to power. Previous governments have managed to maintain harmony by working together to rule Delhi. However, the AAP’s confrontational and unconstitutional approach was problematic. The President gave his assent to the Delhi National Capital Territory Government Bill (Amendment) of 2021. The state government will now have to seek the opinion of the LG before taking any executive action. The bill aims to promote harmony between the legislature and the executive and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the lieutenant governor, in line with the constitutional governance scheme of the NCT Delhi.
Q. The brutal second wave of Covid devastated Delhi in April-May this year, which had worsened due to an acute shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and essential medicines. Don’t you think the Center and the Delhi government are responsible for this epic tragedy?
A. Even after witnessing a massive number of cases during the first wave, the state government was negligent and did not prepare for a second wave. The state government did not take any precautionary measures on its own. Delhi has not installed oxygen plants, has not increased the number of beds, and has not put in place an efficient oxygen delivery system. There was a shortage of everything, most of Delhi’s patients died from lack of oxygen. Despite the huge support given by the central government to help the state, there has been a blatant attempt to blame the Center for all of the state’s problems. Instead of helping people, the state government was playing politics. This is a case of enormous criminal negligence on the part of the state government.
Q. The law and order situation in the nation’s capital remains a matter of serious concern as the city continues to be dangerous for girls and women. Who should be held accountable, given that the Delhi Police Department reports to the Union Home Office (MHA)?
A. Delhi being the capital of India has always been in the limelight. However, Delhi Police is doing a commendable job as the crime prevention and detection rate has improved dramatically in recent years. There has been a visible improvement in policing activities, including traffic management in Delhi. Stricter laws and enforcement measures should be implemented to tackle state government crimes against women. Installation of street lights in dark areas, CCTV cameras should be supported to ensure the safety of women by SG.
Q. There seems to be strong opposition to power against the BJP in the areas of the three Delhi municipal corporations where it has been in power for 15 years. Don’t you think it will be a challenge for your party to retain them in the MCD 2022 polls?
A. There are anti-incumbents against the AAP, especially for its role in the recent riots in Delhi and its failure during the second wave of Covid. There is no anti-holder against BJP in MCD because we have done very well during the pandemic. Also in 2017, the BJP won 181 of the 270 neighborhoods divided into three civic bodies. BJP Delhi will launch a public awareness program from February to explain to people how the functioning of the three civic bodies has been negatively affected due to non-payment of dues by the AAP government in Delhi.
Q. What is your roadmap and vision for Delhi’s growth and development?
A. Delhi has always been considered one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. However, in the recent past, increasing population and pollution have taken their toll on Delhi. An appropriate action plan for environmentally friendly infrastructure growth should be implemented by the government. The key to harmonious growth is good urban planning. There is serious concern to curb the alarming level of pollution in the city. Public health, transport and educational institutions need a boost. Cleaning up the Yamuna and moving polluting industries out of town should be a priority. Clean and safe drinking water for all must be supported. All of this needs to be done in coordination with the central government as they are also major stakeholders in Delhi.