Both the BJP and AAP candidates have no grounds to seek votes in West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency except taking the names of their heavyweights Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal, Congress MP candidate Mahabal Mishra said.
Mishra, a former Lok Sabha member who won from the seat in 2009, however, said he seeks votes in the name of the works he has done for the people in the constituency.
Sitting Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) MP Parvesh Verma and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Balbir Singh Jakhar are also in the fray from the seat that comprises 10 Assembly constituencies – Madipur, Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri, Vikaspuri, Uttam Nagar, Dwarka, Matiala and Najafgarh.
“The present MP is seeking votes in the name of the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). If he had done work in the constituency he would have sought votes on his own name. He never met people in his five-year stint. The AAP candidate is seeking votes in the name of (Delhi Chief Minister) Kejriwal. No one knows him in the area,” Mishra told IANS.
Asked why he lost the 2014 elections if he had done good work, Mishra said the scenario was different then.
“That moment was to change the Congress. People then did not recognize who is the candidate. Parvesh Verma won the election in the names of his father and Narendra Modi. He was not elected because of his work.”
With issues like demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), Mishra said, the Modi wave had faded away. “I don’t fear any wave.”
People were now asking the BJP candidate about what he did in the last five years, said the 66-year-old former soldier. “But no one is asking Mahabal Mishra about his work.”
“(Parvesh Verma) seeks votes in the name of the Prime Minister… He always cuts the ribbon for works done by me. In spare time, he plays badminton and spends time on Facebook. He never visits people to know their needs.”
On earlier talks over a Congress-AAP seat-sharing pact, Mishra said he was opposed to it. “The Congress is a large party and it does not need support.”
Mishra mocked at the AAP’s full statehood demand for Delhi, saying the party formed its government four years ago and since then their four MPs are in Parliament but they never spoke about statehood.
“For any change in law, there is need for the support of 276 MPs. People know this promise is cheating.”
He added: “As per law, Delhi cannot be given full statehood status.”
Over BJP and AAP’s choice of Jat candidates, Mishra said he never contested elections on the basis of caste and religion.
Explaining what he wanted to do for the people, Mishra said his dream was to construct a West Delhi campus of Delhi University like the North and South campuses.
“During my tenure (2009-14), I got a NIFT college project in Najafgarh approved. It was later not pursued when the BJP came to power and there is still no college in Najafgarh. This will be my main focus this time,” he added.