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'If the BSP gets votes, the Congress will suffer'

Sheela Bhatt in in New Delhi | November 22, 2008 01:43 IST

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"The Bahujan Samaj Party will get around 15% of votes in New Delhi [Images]," says the Bhartiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate Professor Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

While talking to Malhotra said, "It's a good sign for BJP, If the BSP gets about 14% of total votes polled then the Congress will decline sharply. In last municipal elections the Congress were at around 29% and the BSP was at 10%. If the Congress goes down to 22% votes than it will be a clear swing against it."

Seventy seven-year-old Malhotra lost his voice in the high-pitched and hectic election campaign, but, he says, "When I see crowd my voice comes back."

"I have fought elections since 1952. I have won some ten elections. But,now  times have changed. We used to win election by spending some 500-700 rupees. Door-to door campaigning helped us win sucessive elections. Now, its all too expensive." Malhotra says.

Malhotra seems a little subdued amidst mixed reports of the election results, but talk of Sheila Dixit, his opponent and popular chief minister of New Delhi, brightens him up.

He claims, " This time Congress's campaign is so underplayed that Sonia Gandhi [Images] has just come once in the campaign. There is no demand for Manmohan Singh [Images]."

"I don't want to talk ill of my opponent but her real face is now known to people. Look at the unauthorized colonies that have come up during her rule. It's a betrayal of every section of society. The BRT corridor is so unpopular. Every section of society is opposing the Congress in New Delhi."

Malhotra candidly admits that Arun Jaitely was his party's choice for the top slot and prospective Chief minister, too.
He says he also wanted him to be party leader, but, "Jaitley didn't want to come to local politics"
then everyone supported him.

Malhotra led party has indulged in quite aggressive and straight talk on issue of terrorism and price rise in new Delhi.
BJP's campaign in local papers claimed that Congress party was demanding the inquiry in  Batla House incident of encounter by police  against terrorists.Congress has denied it that party had ever officially asked for the inquiry. Only section of the party led by Salman Khurshid has demanded it. Malhotra defends aggressive advertisement of BJP. He says, "There is no bigger lie than this. Central minister of Congress, entire minority section of Congress, Kapil Sibal and Ahmed Patel has visited Batla house. All of them had asked for inquiry and even now they are pressing for it. They are collecting money for terrorists. They are glamourising them. They are raising the stature of known terrorists."

When asked about BJP's defence of Pragnya Thakur , accuse of terrorism, he says, " In  Batla house actual fight took place. They were known terrorists to police. But in case of Sadhvi there is no evidence. No encounter took place. They are diverting attention from Jihadi terrorism to so-called Hindu terrorism."

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