NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Rajinder Nagar bypolls that will take place on 23 June and whose results will be declared on 26 June, senior leader of the AamAadmi Party (AAP) Durgesh Pathak spoke to The Sunday Guardian. Pathak is hoping to receive a positive response from the people of Rajinder Nagar in the upcoming elections. Excerpts:
Q: What are your expectations from the people of Rajinder Nagar? Why do you feel that they would choose AAP over BJP or any other party?
A: Since 2015, the AAP has been in a stronger position in Delhi, thanks to CM Arvind Kejriwal’s efforts to enhance the city’s conditions and infrastructure. Prior to 2015, schools, hospitals, and roads were in poor shape, there were no mohalla clinics, and people had to deal with a lack of water. However, the situation has improved recently, and residents of Rajinder Nagar expect that the way CM Arvind Kejriwal has transformed Delhi, he would continue to do so in Rajinder Nagar. So, since AAP rules Delhi, the MLA in Rajinder Nagar should also be from AAP.
Q: Since you have filed your nomination from the Rajinder Nagar Assembly, do you feel that you can do better than MP Raghav Chadha?
A: Raghav Chadhaji has done a good job, and I believe that with the AAP’s assistance and Raghav Chadha’s efforts, the party would be able to perform better.
Q: People have seen that the BJP and the AAP are not on the same page. Do you think that the unification of MCDs will help Delhi to run in a better way?
A: It has been 2-3 months, and the BJP has hardly done any groundwork; in fact, corruption has increased. I am not opposed to MCD unification, but I am against the way this election was postponed by using unification as a tactic. Before 2015, AAP was not present and there were no proper works or anything; however, after 2015, the situation improved, and Delhi changed significantly in less than five years. As a result, unless the government is trustworthy, unification will fail.
Q: You’ve lived in Delhi for a long time and have now been nominated for the Rajinder Nagar Assembly. How was your experience staying at Rajinder Nagar when you first came to Delhi for your studies?
A: When I was a student, I had no idea I would end up in politics; I used to study, and during Anna Hazare’s andolan, I became a member of the aandolan. During that time, SP Guptaji was a huge assistance and supported me.
Q: The people of Rajinder Nagar have complained about water scarcity, garbage cleaning and parking issues. The AAP government has been in power for the last 7 years now, don’t you think that this can act against you?
A: AAP has resolved the water scarcity to a certain extent, and DJB is working all the time to resolve the issues; the people are fed up with garbage, and BJP must be answerable to them.