Aam Aadmi Party’s New Delhi candidate Brijesh Goyal does not see BJP’s sitting MP Meenakshi Lekhi and senior Congress leader and two-time MP Ajay Maken as “competition”. He says that the people have tested the two before and will vote for a new face this time.
The New Delhi Lok Sabha seat, one of Delhi’s seven parliamentary seats going to the polls on May 12, is witnessing a triangular contest between Delhi’s ruling AAP, the BJP and the Congress.
A fresh face for the public, but a known one in the Delhi traders’ community, 43-year-old Goyal is the National Convenor of the Chamber Of Trade and Industry (CTI) and also Convenor of the AAP Trade Wing (Trade and Industry).
Goyal, who is also a yoga expert, is “100 per cent confident of winning the elections”.
“We are not facing any competition from the two national parties. This time the public will vote for a new face. Both Maken and Lekhi have been tried and have failed and the public is very unhappy with them,” he said.
Congress’ Maken has served three terms as MLA between 1993 and 2004, and two terms as MP from the seat in 2004 and 2009. “Maken was the MP for 10 years, people have already given him chance twice. He was unable to serve the people,” said Goyal.
He called Lekhi “an absentee MP” and said that she was never available to the people since she became an MP in 2014. “Across the New Delhi parliamentary constituency the most famous line was Meenakshi Lekhi kabhi nahi dekhi,” he said.
Goyal also accused Lekhi of not doing anything for the people when they were suffering because of the sealing drive.
Pointed out that prominent markets like Defence Colony, Meharchand Market, Amar Colony, Green Park, Hauz Khas, Lajpat Nagar, Motia Khan, Regarpura and Mansarovar Garden faced the sealing drive, he said, “These markets are the pride of Delhi. So many people became unemployed in the area due to the sealing.”
“I tried meeting her several times when the sealing drive began in 2017 with delegations of traders but she refused to meet anyone or take any step to save the livelihoods of traders of New Delhi,” said the AAP candidate.
According to Goyal, he even sat on a ‘dharna’ outside her house to draw her attention towards the issues faced by the traders, but she “ignored”.
Goyal called sealing his top priority and said, “I will resolve the issue faced by the traders due to the sealing drive in the constituency.”
“Pension for government employees is also an issue in the area. I will try and get it regularised while ensuring a hike in their Dearness Allowance. Lekhi has not done anything to improve the NDMC area, I will improve the area and bring new facilities there,” he said.
The AAP candidate also counted women’s security among his top priorities. “There are about 40 villages in the constituency, which severely lack facilities. No national party has ever cared them,” he said.
On AAP’s full statehood demand, Goyal said that he will do his best to get his party demand fulfilled.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls to the New Delhi seat, of the total 9,64,223 votes polled, BJP’s Lekhi got 4,53,350 votes (47.02 per cent), AAP’s Ashish Khetan got 2,90,642 votes (30.14 per cent) and Congress’ Maken came third with 1,82,893 votes (18.97 votes).
The high profile New Delhi constituency is home to Parliament House, Supreme Court, Central Government offices, the residence of President, Prime Minister, all the top civil, judicial, military and diplomatic enclave.