Congress candidate from North-Mumbai constituency spoke to our Editor-in –Chief Sunil Dang on her joining politics & what she intends to do for her constituency. Here are the excerpts:
Q.Congratulations on joining Politics & the Congress party, I personally feel that more & more young people joining politics is a welcome sign….
Q. Now that you are in, what is your take on joining the Parliamentary elections?
A: I haven’t joined elections. I have joined the congress party which has asked me to fight as a candidate in this Lok Sabha election. I have joined Congress for I genuinely believe in the ideology, Congress espouses, & I feel I can bring about achange for the good for my people being with the congress party.
Q. I see the current BJP-Shiv Sena candidate having won by a margin of 4.5 lakhs as compared to what Sanjay Nirupam or Govinda of the Congress had won earlier with much lesser margins? How do you explain this?
A. Look, in 2014 there clearly was a Modi wave. BJP had done a branding in such a way that everybody including Mr. Shetty benefitted by this. Despite this there is no visible development right overall. Be it at the level of center, state or Nagar Palika. One would have expected a lot more to have been one. But I don’t see any of that at all.
Q. I get the impression that despite the incumbent being popular, his not so good equations with the CM or the central leadership may work against him? Also do you think that he is facing anti-incumbency?
A. Well, I am here to work for my constituency & uplift our society. I shall sue all my time, energy & resources to ensure that the area & its people stand to gain by my winning the elections; I shall definitely try my best.
Q. Having known late Sh. Sunil Dutt& even Late Sh. VinodKhanna personally who had adeep connect with people? Who would you like to emulate? We had Govinda come & go? Where do you see yourself few years from now?
A. Definitely Sunil Dutt had an impact on who I want to be in politics. Early on it is fascinating to remember how he &NargisDuttJi would do for the armed forces, going to the border areas & encouraging the army, boosting their morale. Later they did some remarkable work in their constituency & I am looking forward to following into their footsteps & do something worthwhile for my people & the country.
Q. With a sizeable number of female voters in your constituency as well as Mumbai in general, do you think that you would be able to draw a connect with these voters as a woman candidate? Congress shall also benefit by such an approach
A. Definitely. I would like to do more for the women of my area. I have said this in my promise & this is a part of our (Congress) manifesto. We shall definitely work for the welfare of women. Be it the healthcare or 33% reservation that is coming up, we shall do whatever we can to improve the life of women.
Q. Mumbai is known for the high & mighty, the builder & business lobby? What is your focus, your dream, being a fresh face having entered politics?
A. Currently I see a gap in North & South of Mumbai in terms of development that I would like to bridge as early as possible. Definitely, North needs to come to the same level & stature as south if not more & I would like to achieve such a dream in my tenure. Be it infrastructure, jobs, healthcare or allied issues, I think North deserves an equal share.
Q. That would mean more of educational hubs, health centers, sporting arenas etc?
A. Yes, most everything, most definitely.
Q. I have an important question to ask & this is about the growing threat to the secular fabric of this country. Instances like cow vigilantism, polarization have dented our secular image? What do you think is happening to Secularism, you being a shining example of secularism yourself?
A. I agree that secularism has been some kind of distress of a late. I am in politics because of this. I admire the beauty of Indian democracy that has maintained the spirit of plurality alive. All governments barring what we saw in last five years have worked towards strengthening secularism. All citizens & politicians must work to preserve this legacy that is India.
Q. Mumbai being the commercial capital of our country, what do you intend to do to lift the spirit up in businesses, particularly the entertainment industry?
A. It is more about unemployment& the lack of opportunity of the youth. Not necessarily about entertainment industry which is an altogether different sector, If I may say so, Currently the need is to create more & more jobs for the unemployed. Also some sops & incentives for the startups that could ten provide create more jobs & not necessarily job for themselves. As regards the entertainment industry, they are every much capable & independent.
Q. You joined Politics & congress just about the same time Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did who is now the general Secretary of the party? Do you think she shall make a difference to the party’s fortunes?
A. Priyanka is someone who is highly charismatic, extremely connected to people, down to earth & easy to talk to. She has a huge impact on people by & large & that is very welcoming thing. She is someone who can feel the pulse of the people & who draws an instant connect with masses. I am sure a lot of changes shall happen with her being around.