Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi president and party's candidate from North East Delhi parliamentary seat Manoj Tiwari is unperturbed by the fact that the Congress party has fielded three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit – considered to be a Grand Old Party's strongest candidate in the National Capital because of her long political journey - against him. Explaining the reason behind being so confident about his victory, Tiwari told newsnation.in that no one wants to vote for a party that wants to divide the country. The 48-year-old Bhojpuri singer and actor-turned-politician also emphasised that Sheila was defeated by a 'Tiwari' (Lal Bihari Tiwari) when she made her Lok Sabha Elections debut in 1998 and will once again face a defeat at the hands of a 'Tiwari' (Manoj Tiwari).
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
Q: You joined BJP in 2014 and won the election from North East Delhi Lok Sabha seat. What changes you see in the people of the National Capital. We are asking this question because the BJP won the Lok Sabha seats in 2014, then the AAP won the state elections and later the BJP won the MCD elections?
A: We won the confidence of people in the past five years and have tried to do what the state government in the past 22 years didn't think about. Just like other states, we elect a Chief Minister. If he fails to fulfil his responsibility, the Centre won't be able to do the kind of work which is required to be done.
Q: This time Sheila Dikshit is contesting against you. Is this going to be tough for you to win against her?
A: My victory margin will increase this time because our leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives priority to national security. On the other hand, the Congress - whose candidate Sheila Dikshit is fighting against me - says that it will curtail the power of our Army, scrap the sedition law which clearly means that they are conspiring to divide our country. So can someone vote for such people?
Q: You are the BJP Delhi president. How many seats are you expecting to win in this general election?
A: We will once again win all the seven seats and help Narendra Modiji become Prime Minister once again.
Q: Has BJP's chance to win the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections increased after the IAF's air strike across the LoC?
A: We were always in the position of winning the election as people want a Prime Minister who can act tough against people trying to divide the country. This time we will even improve our tally of 2014.
BJP's Manoj Tiwari during a roadshow in his constituency
Q: What are the things that you wanted to do in North East Delhi constituency during your tenure as MP but couldn't and will like to do after winning this time?
A: The annual budget of a Member of Parliament (MP) is Rs 5 crore and that of a Chief Minister is Rs 53,000 crore. So, for overall development, it is very important that the party in power in the National Capital should have good intentions. We have done things that no one did in the past 55 years and that too without any support from the Delhi government. We will continue work for the development of the city and betterment of people.
Q: Some people are saying that you spend most of your time in party-related works and campaigning and this is why you couldn't focus much on your constituency.
A: That's not true. You can see how people in huge numbers are coming in support of the BJP and this is only because they are happy with our work.
Q: Unauthorised colonies is a major issue in your constituency. Don't you think much more could have been done by you?
A: The party in power should not do politics of divide and rule, appeasement and should focus on development work instead of doing blame game. The Delhi government has done very little for the people. We (Central government) tried our best in the past five years but these things need the support of the state government.
Q: Sheila Dikshit says that Signature Bridge was started by her government, the AAP claims that they completed the work and it is you who went to inaugurate it, why?
A: Sheila Dikshit had halted the progress of Signature Bridge and we started the work after coming to power. Not only this, we made Meet Nagar Saboli Railway Station, we are making an elevated road with a project cost of Rs 4,500 crore, we are making Yamuna Riverfront, we started central school. Why these things were not done under the previous governments?
Q: There were reports that Haryanvi singer Sapna Choudhary may join the Congress and her photo with party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi was also released. Later she met you. You have said Sapna will join the BJP soon. What's your role in this?
A: Sapnaji is a very good human being and a popular star. She always wanted to join the BJP and very soon a formal announcement in this regard will be made.
Q: The Supreme Court has asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for his remarks on Rafale deal? How do you see this?
A: We always said that there's no substance in his allegations and now Supreme Court has asked to apologise. These are the reasons that people have stopped taking him seriously.