Sitting MP Meenakshi Lekhi is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from the high-profile New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. A Supreme Court lawyer and the BJP’s national spokesperson, she is fighting against Congress’ Ajay Maken (profile) and AAP’s Brijesh Goyal.
Lekhi has identified ‘Swachh Bharat 2.0’, skill training and an increase in telecom network as her three key priorities for the constituency.
While Maken claims that Lekhi is trying to encash Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image as she herself failed to do anything for the constituency, she has said her rival neither has any credibility nor a name like Modi.
“All the problems Delhi is plagued with are related to urban development. The Congress and Maken, a former urban development minister, are responsible for the mess. He should tell what did they did in 10 years ― from 2004 to 2014,” she said.
Lekhi has said anti-incumbency is not a factor for her and that people want to give BJP a second chance.
Lekhi said she had spent Rs 32 crore from the MPLAD funds, including Rs 7.6 crore left unspent by her predecessor Maken, on developmental works in the constituency. Under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD), every MP is given Rs 5 crore per year for undertaking developmental projects in his or her constituency.
Lekhi claimed she brought the concept of open gyms in the country, “which is being emulated by everyone now”.
She has also claimed credit for the renovation works at the three major railway stations in the constituency ― New Delhi, Delhi Cantt, and Sarai Rohilla.
“Normally, officers used to travel abroad. When I sat in the chair, I sent the gardeners, class 3 and class 4 employees to European countries like Holland and Spain for training,” she said.
On the BJP’s shift from the issue of development to nationalism, Lekhi told PTI, “How are the two issues different? Can you improve the economic condition of any country without making its people safe and secure. Can a country, whose borders aren’t safe, be prosperous?”
“The two issues are completely inter-linked. Only when you put your country before everything else, then only you can move forward with a developmental agenda,” she said.
On issue of Delhi’s air pollution, she said, “Yes, but my problem is that I can’t replace the Delhi government. The pollution control committee falls under Delhi government.”
Lekhi has said the air quality in Delhi is depleting not because of vehicles, but because of dust from construction and demolition waste lying untreated.
(With PTI inputs)