Himachal polls: People ready to reject BJP and Congress, says AAP leader

State AAP chief Surjeet Thakur says hindutva will not impact polls


Q/ What is your party’s main plank?

A/ Arvind Kejriwal has given 11 guarantees. This includes Rs1,000 a month to women, unemployment stipend of Rs3,000 for those below 40, six lakh jobs, and MSP for fruits and vegetables. We will fulfil these and ensure a corruption-free state.

Q/ Two parties have always ruled the state. How much hope do you have?

A/ The kind of support we are getting, it looks like it is a one-way fight. People are telling us there is an undercurrent. The AAP will gain majority.

Q/ The BJP has accused your party of starting a freebie culture.

A/ When people’s money is used for people, it is not a freebie. For example, if we have taken Rs100 from the people, we spend Rs90 on hospitals or schools or roads. The remaining Rs10 is given back to them in the form of free electricity or stipend for women. Freebies are when loans worth thousands of crores are waived off for your friends.

Q/ The AAP has always presented a chief minister candidate, but not in Himachal. Why?

A/ The chief minister will be chosen from the elected MLAs, based on the central leadership’s decision.

Q/ Who is your main opponent?

A/ The Congress is finished because of its own doing. Our main opponent is the BJP.

Q/ The AAP is always accused of eating into Congress votes.

A/ Wherever the AAP is preferred by the people, the Congress becomes a zero, and the BJP becomes a scooter party (they only have a couple of MLAs). Look at Delhi and Punjab. The same will happen in Himachal.

Q/ We saw that Punjabis were angry with the established parties and political families. This is not visible in Himachal.

A/ Himachal is a peace-loving state. People are cautious when it comes to criticising anyone. The undercurrent is for change. The people of Himachal have seen two parties for 42 years. They are ready to reject these parties.

Q/ Your opponents claim your party is focusing more on Gujarat.

A/ This is BJP propaganda. In the past 25 days, we have done door-to-door campaigns. All the central leaders will campaign here. Unlike other parties, which go for big events, we go local.

Q/ Hindutva has been an issue in Hindi-speaking states. It is not as potent in Himachal.

A/ The literacy rate is very high here. Whatever they wanted to extract out of religion has been done. This issue will not have an impact as people here are aware.