Shardul Kaushik talks to NewsWithChai about the prospects of the Congress party in Navi Mumbai after the recent Lok Sabha poll debacle and in the wake of the forthcoming Assembly and NMMC general elections.

Q. What is your assessment of the Congress debacle in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls?
A. In my personal opinion, Party should have declared its candidate atleast 1 year before the elections. Also, the candidate should be the public’s favourite and not the leader’s.

Q. How much will this outcome effect the forthcoming Assembly polls in the State vis-a-vis the Congress party?
History has proved that Loksabha elections have been different from Vidhansabha elections & the Corporation elections. The public will choose for a better & stable government in the state & we are confident to have a Congress led government in the upcoming assembly elections.

Q. What prospect do you see for the Congress party in the NMMC general elections to be held early next year?
In the forthcoming NMMC elections, we are very positive & confident about the Congress’s performance. Also if Congress, NCP & other secular minded parties join hands, then that alliance local government will sweep maximum majority & win the corporation with a landslide victory.

Q. Could you focus on the main issues that the Congress should take up for the State and Corporation polls?
There are a number of commitments that the current government couldn’t deliver. Navi Mumbai was meritorious in terms of employment and its transport connectivity, but now, these have turned into the demerits of the city as the unemployment in the city has gone high along with small scale industries shutting down day by day. In terms of transport connectivity, the BJP had promised to put an end to the Toll Naka but has failed. For friends & relatives accompanying commuters, the cost of platform ticket at the railways have been hiked by the government to a great extent.

Q. Why is Congress Party unable to make inroads in a cosmopolitan city like Navi Mumbai?
The newly appointed district committee is doing well at the ground level and this hard work will be seen once the results of the NMMC 2020 elections are declared.

Q. Is the Congress party failing to have an effective membership drive in Navi Mumbai?
As already mentioned, the new district committee is performing very well at the grass root level and is also capable of performing an effective membership drive in Navi Mumbai.

Q. What efforts are being made to stop the infighting within the party ranks in the city and for better co-ordination among the Youth, Mahila, Seva Dal and Parent cells of the party?
As we respect every thought of our party workers & leaders, there might be difference of opinion in the decision of party ranks, but the final verdict of the party supreme command is respected by everyone & we all work together. Also, there are no personal or political grudges amongst the party leaders. Ultimately, we are all a part of Congress family.

Q. Why should the youth of Navi Mumbai join the Congress party?
Nowadays, the youth of our country are very well versed & advanced in terms of technology and global economics. The congress has played an important role in providing this key platform for learning & improvising to the youth. Former Prime Minister Bharatratna Late. Shri. Rajiv Gandhi is responsible for bringing the IT revolution in our country & similarly, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is responsible for the economic revolution he had bought in his term. Both of these factors have made India and its youth competent across the globe.

Q. What revival efforts are being made by the Congress party in Navi Mumbai?
A. The congress party in Navi Mumbai has strengthened the roots at the ground level & it will 100% prove fruitful in the forthcoming NMMC elections.