People in Delhi have suffered because of negative politics that hit a new low in the last two and half years, and the time has come for some positivism, says city BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.
In a wide-ranging interview with IANS on the eve of Delhi civic poll results, Tiwari, who faced his first electoral test in the capital and emerged victorious, lashed out at previous city governments for discriminatory politics. The BJP thrashed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), winning the civic body polls for the third term in a row.
"For the last 15 years, we have only seen negative politics being played out in Delhi that attained a new low in the last two and a half years," the Bhojpuri singer-actor-turned-politician said.
"Delhi turned out to be a wrestling ring (between politicians) in which only people suffered. Thus, we want to nourish positive politics in the happening city," he said.
He said opposition was doing politics in criticising the BJP-governed Delhi civic bodies.
But people, he said, have realised now that "in the last 10 years, the previous governments (of the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party) had followed the policy of discrimination."
"When they question the civic bodies, they should look at their own performances," he added.
The BJP has been ruling the three civic bodies -- East Delhi Municipal Corporation, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation -- for the past 10 years.
Speaking about the cleanliness or the lack of it in the capital, Tiwari said the city drainage and roads, "also in miserable conditions", were being maintained by the Public Works Department of the government.
"The people of Delhi have understood they (the Congress and the AAP) are not bothered about their pain and suffering. That is why they have chosen to stand with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and his policies," said the BJP leader, who represents northeast Delhi in the Lok Sabha.
Tiwari said that he led the BJP's fight in civic polls not against "the AAP or the Congress but against the misgovernance" in the city.
He said despite the AAP's "brouhaha" to provide free water supply to every household in the city, people in some slum areas faced acute water storage while farmers suffered from government apathy and youth and women faced also battled issues.
Even before the results of the civic body polls were announced, Tiwari said the verdict would be a "clear cut referendum" against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP government.
"They should leave and go. I know (Chief Minster Arvind) Kejriwal is not going to listen to anybody. I will still advise him to work for the people of Delhi and fulfill the promises he has made. And he should try to improve his image in the rest of his tenure," Tiwari said.
Asked why the BJP had declined poll tickets to all its sitting councillors for the election, Tiwari said he was inspired by "the working style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah".
"I put my foot down and implemented the decision despite facing stiff resistance from the sitting councillors," he said, adding the decision "not taken like a dictator" was based on the performance of the councillors.
"They were not involved in any corruption but their performance could have been better. Like, instead of one medical college (in the city) they should have tried to make five. Instead of 216 schools, they should have built 500. So I found that the performance was not up to the mark. We decided to give a chance to new faces and bring a new batch of leaders in the party," the BJP leader said.