Home Breaking News People of Garhwal will fight my election against BJP: Godiyal – myuttarakhandnews.com | Uttarakhand News in English | Dehradun News Today| News Uttarakhand | Uttarakhand latest news

People of Garhwal will fight my election against BJP: Godiyal – myuttarakhandnews.com | Uttarakhand News in English | Dehradun News Today| News Uttarakhand | Uttarakhand latest news

People of Garhwal will fight my election against BJP: Godiyal –  myuttarakhandnews.com | Uttarakhand News in English | Dehradun News Today| News Uttarakhand | Uttarakhand latest news

Saturday, 23 March 2024 | DEHRADUN The Congress party has fielded former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Ganesh Godiyal from Garhwal Lok Sabha seat considered to be a bastion of the BJP. The soft- spoken and hard working politician has started his election campaign which is drawing good public response. In an interaction with Gajendra Singh Negi of The Pioneer, Godiyal talked about his priorities, issues and challenges in the electoral battle of Garhwal. What are your preparations for the election in the Garhwal parliamentary constituency? To be honest, I was not prepared for the ticket as everyone, including I, believed that Manish Khanduri would contest from here. I had announced my support for Khanduri but things changed when he left the party. The Congress leadership asked me to contest as according to them I have the support of all the workers and leaders of Garhwal. The party had even conducted an internal survey based on which I was given the ticket. Garhwal Lok Sabha is geographically spread over six districts and is a mountainous constituency. What challenges do you perceive in the campaign here? Yes, the area is very large but I will try to reach out to the maximum number of people and have started my campaign which is getting tremendous response from the public. Being the ruling party, BJP is perceived to be more resourceful. How do you view this?  Apart from being resourceful, the BJP is using every trick in the trade to demoralise me. I have been served three summons by the Income Tax department which shows that the ruling party has become desperate. I admit that the Congress has fewer resources but our workers and local people are very excited and they have promised me that they will pool in the required resources for me. What are the issues on which you are contesting the election? The ever increasing unemployment which is prompting migration is the biggest concern in Garhwal. The youngsters are attracted by the employment guarantee given by our leader Rahul Gandhi.   The Anikta Bhandari murder case and the manner in which things are being handled have angered the people. Deteriorating law and order situation and lack of development are other prominent issues which need to be addressed. How will the Ankita Bhandari case impact the elections?  It is not about the elections but it is clear that women safety is a major concern under the BJP rule. The incident of Manipur, the issue of women wrestlers, allegations on Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the attempts to protect the VIP involved in the murder of Ankita Bhandari show the attitude the BJP has on the subject of women safety. Lack of development in Garhwal is glaring despite the area having given many chief ministers and Union ministers. What are your views? There is a need to devise a plan which provides employment opportunities at the local level. The planners should focus on judicious and sustainable use of water and forest resources which are in abundance in the area for employment generation and development. Organic farming, encouragement of local products and eco -tourism are other areas which have potential that needs to be tapped. The BJP candidate Anil Baluni is claiming that he has now dedicated himself to development of Garhwal. What would you say? He was the Rajya Sabha MP from Uttarakhand for a period of six years. What had prevented him from taking up development initiatives? The trains he is claiming to have worked to start are all  old train services with changed names. The only thing he did was to set up a planetarium in Pauri and on it he has spent a major portion of his MP local area development fund which could have been used for other more important works. How do you compare yourself with BJP candidate Anil Baluni? Baluni is like my younger brother. He is involved in politics of Delhi and leads a luxurious life. I, on the other hand, remain here and well-versed with all the areas of Garhwal. He has been parachuted by the BJP leadership and will fly away after the elections. How do you view the challenge posed by the BJP in the Lok Sabha election? There is no morality left in the BJP and it is making every possible effort to influence the people by its rhetoric, but the people have seen through its designs. The BJP candidate is very influential and is planning to hold public meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home minister Amit Shah, Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Smriti Irani in different parts of Garhwal.  These leaders will try to sway the public opinion in favour of BJP but I am sure the people will seek their response on Agnipath scheme and Ankita Bhandari murder case.   Many senior Congress leaders in Garhwal have defected to BJP. In fact, there is no MLA of your party in Garhwal now. How will this affect your prospects?  BJP has unleashed operation lotus in Uttarakhand and some leaders have left the Congress party. The defection of leaders like Rajendra Singh Bhandari will have some effect but another aspect of this exercise is that the workers of the Congress party have become more united and determined to ward off the saffron challenge.


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