You have worked as a health activist. What motivated you to join
My experience as an activist has taught me that it takes a long time for a small thing to happen because of the lack of political will. We have struggled with very basic things. I became very interested in taking part in active politics because I think as a citizen, it is my duty to get work done, which will help the public.
What are the primary issues of Kothrud constituency?
The issues are plenty and have remained unresolved for years. Kothrud needs a multispeciality hospital run by the civic body. Sutar Hospital is there but does not have a C-section facility. Electricity is very costly in the State. There is also the problem of water management. Many areas get water at odd timings, which affects the citizens. The rate of organised crime is high. The AAP government in Delhi has shown the people that free education and healthcare by the government is not an unachievable dream. We want to follow the Delhi pattern here in Maharashtra.
What according to you are the challenges faced in Maharashtra?
There is a need for more allocation for the health sector in the budget, good primary care and emphasis on free medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) like diabetes and hypertension. AAP also wants the effective implementation of social services like education and fee regulation. In rural areas, there is a need to push agro-based initiatives.
Even though Maharashtra has faced drought along with floods this monsoon season, there is no mention of environmental issues by politicians. What is the take of AAP on environmental issues?
Our party advocates Jal, Jungle and Zameen (Water, Forest and Land). We will be working on restoring hills in the area. Our focus will be on sustainable development. We are planning environmental and social analysis of new infrastructural projects and understanding how they affect the ecosystem.
What challenges will you face in Kothrud considering it is a BJP stronghold?
As a party, we are working with very few resources. The challenge is formidable. There is tremendous discontent among people, which will benefit AAP as we are raising the issues that affect the people. We will give a strong fight to the traditional political parties.
What is the direction of AAP in the State post elections?
There is a vacuum of strong opposition. In the coming elections and thereafter, AAP wants to come to the forefront as a strong opposition as well as strong alternative to the current politics. Right now, there is a looming threat that many politicians will change their parties. Our Delhi model is proof that strong political will and honest politicians can work wonders for the common man.