Kanhaiya is a challenge for his own party: Manoj Tiwari

BJP's vote share will go up, says its candidate from North East Delhi


Interview/ Manoj Tiwari, BJP candidate, North East Delhi

Q/ Is North East Delhi witnessing a mini Bihar battle?

A/ This is an election of the nation. How can we limit it to Bihar? And Bihar can never identify with a person against whom a case is going on over his intent to break the country into many parts. He [Kanhaiya Kumar] had contested from Bihar. He did not even get cadre vote.

Q/ The contest does show the growing importance of Purvanchalis in Delhi politics.

A/ If you talk about that region, there cannot be a bigger honour [than the fact that] the BJP has given ticket to Manoj Tiwari for the third time in a row. But I will still say we do not see people in terms of caste, state, language. We believe in sabka saath, sabka vikas [all together, development for all].

Q/ How do you assess the challenge of Kanhaiya Kumar?

A/ He is a challenge for his own party. As soon as he came here, the party broke into pieces. The state unit president resigned and left. The party’s state unit chief leaves, its former MLAs leave, then what is left? How can he be a challenge to us?

Q/ You have spoken about certain statements he allegedly made. But he says the court has said he made no such statements.

A/ If the court gave him a clean chit, why did he mention in his nomination that these cases are going on? The case is going on, and I believe the law will punish him.

Q/ How do you view the impact of the Congress-AAP alliance in Delhi?

A/ The BJP’s vote share will go up because people are disappointed with both the Congress and the AAP. Their party workers ask them ‘who is the prime ministerial candidate’. The response they get is ‘we are not contesting elections to make a prime minister but to remove a prime minister’. Nobody will vote for a majboor [helpless] government.

Q/ Communal riots took place here in 2020. What have you done to bridge the divide and provide relief?

A/ Relief is a state subject. But we were definitely concerned that the families who have faced loss of life and property be given relief. The mastermind of the riots turned out to be an AAP councillor, Tahir Hussain. For votes, they use caste, religion. I tell people with folded hands they should not forget who masterminded the riots. Manoj Tiwari is known for removing hatred and bridging divides.

Q/ The BJP has been accused of polarising the elections.

A/ Did anything I said convey anything like that? I am talking about removing hatred and bridging gaps. But the Congress says in its manifesto that they will distribute the property of Hindus among poor Muslims. If we are creating awareness about this, it is not polarisation. The day the slogan ‘Bharat tere tukde honge [India, you will be cut into pieces]’ was raised in JNU, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi both went to meet Kanhaiya Kumar. Rahul Gandhi’s party supports antinational forces, and Arvind Kerjiwal takes funds from antinational forces.

Q/ The BJP swept the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, but Assembly polls were a different story.

A/ We accepted the verdict of the people. We did not find fault with the electronic voting machine. We have faith in the people. Delhi gave the AAP two terms. When the state elections take place, the people will repose their faith in the BJP and give it a third term.