Political

Excerpts of the interview

Congress is playing the role of creating awareness so that people can make informed decisions, says Haroon Yusuf

@Haroon Yusuf #Kejriwaal government is a slum dwellers government #itmiinterviews

@Haroon Yusuf #ballimaran MLA is incapable of handling civic issues. #itmiinterviews

@Aam Admi party is a jungle raj. @haroon  yusuf #itmiinterviews

@haroon yusuf, lack of digital campaigning was the reason behind defeat in 2014-15 election for  Congress. #itmiinterviews.

@Aam Admi Party should focus on governance rather than on making media hype nad confrontation. #itmiinterviews.

New Delhi

ITMI

Congress is on an aggressive agenda vis- a- vis the Modi government and the AAP government in Delhi. Former minister and Delhi Congress veteran, Haroon Yusuf told ITMI that the agenda is to create awareness among people so they can make informed decisions.

What are you doing to stay relevant to Delhi voters?

Congress has continued to raise issues of the people of Delhi but AAP has managed to draw  attention because they make extravagant promises like free wi-fi, free electricity and  employment opportunities for thousands of youngsters. Congress has tried to remain realistic and not offered false promises to the people.

Congress has been in power for 15 years in Delhi and there were never such blatant confrontations with the  Lieutenant Governor. How do you see the ongoing power struggle between the city government and LG?

When a party is in government, it is bound by the Constitution and to contest this, the two-third  majority of the Parliament is required to approve this. Congress has also faced conflicts with the LG and the home ministry but we sought to resolve the issues through dialogue  and in a civilized way.  One cannot get on a war path every day. The AAP government may project that it is picking up confrontation for the good of the city, but the reality is absence of governance for the national capital. So in a way it is an excuse for poor governance in the city.

Congress government had a good working rapport with the Delhi Police, but now AAP government wants to take it under its control. Please comment.

This tussle has been on since 1948. Three commissions have been set up on this, and the last commission was set up in 1987. The issue was examined and there is a belief that as Delhi is the national capital, so law and order should come under the central government. I think this issue cannot be resolved through media hype and confrontation. The decision of hand over of Delhi Police lies with the home ministry and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal should refrain from blaming and embarrassing the police force. We don’t have a jungle raj and the police cannot be held responsible for everything.

AAP leaders such as Somnath Bharti , Kumar Vishwas and Jitendra Tomar have been involved in  serious controversies but  Congress has not been able to sufficiently draw public attention on this?

 Somnath Bharti’s wife has brought out the case against him so the question to ask is how he can be trusted with handling women issues.  Leaders like Kumar Vishwas, former law minister Jitendra Tomar and MLA Manoj Kumar have been embroiled in controversies.No work has been done on implementation of the Jan Lokpal bill in the last six months and the  Lokayukt has not been appointed so far.Congress is playing the role of creating awareness so that people can make informed decisions.

Your political career started with Delhi Youth Congress but the National Students Union of India (NSUI) has not been able to hold much popularity among youth, How are you planning to change this?

65% of our population is youth and I believe the NSUI is playing an important role in  connecting with them.. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership has helped change the perspective of youngsters who are joining the NSUI in large numbers. The NSUI has played a role of mobilize and create awareness on the Congress policies and our achievements..

 You have been credited for many positive changes during the stint as transport minister in Delhi how do you see the present government’s work in improving transportation in the city?

AAP government does not believe in taking any advices. The Kejriwal government talked about plying 10,000 buses on Delhi roads, but at any bus depot, one can find 800-900 buses parked at a given point.  So the question is where is the space to park additional 10,000 buses which the government hopes to add to the existing fleet. There needs to be proper planning to implement this.

Today social media has become a powerful medium for political leaders, but you are nowhere on social media, what is the reason for this?

It is true that I am not active on social media but I do have a twitter account. It is good to see how the social media is helping keep the youth more informed about the surroundings.

Do you think the poor digital campaign by Congress was also a reason for the debacle in the general elections?

I don’t think this was a big reason though Congress was not too active on the social media as our opponents but things have changed now. I think the main reason for our defeat was the way Congress policies were not positioned against the fake promises of other parties.

 Congress has been aggressive in the last session of the Parliament, will this posture continue in the upcoming elections in Bihar?

 Congress has always raised issues of the public and we have been supported by the voters in 2004 elections and we will continue to remain committed to the public. People will vote out any political party which becomes arrogant as NDA was voted out earlier.

 What is your party’s strategy for the next MCD elections in Delhi?

Corruption has always been a core issue and we need to raise the issue of poor drainage system.

How do you view the voter mood in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh?

Both these state elections will be crucial and people will also be ready to express their verdict on one year of NDA government at the centre. People will be voting wisely this time.

You lost the Ballimaran seat after winning for three consecutive terms, what caused the disconnect with your voters?

It was a wave and people voted enmasse.  People were misled and reacted as if an `avtar’ in the form of Arvind Kejriwal has come to salvage the city. But now this government can be given 10 on 10 for misguiding the public with fake promises.

What will be your role in the upcoming elections?

 It will be the party’s decision to give me a role as suitable. I do not wish to comment on this.

 

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