The grandson of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal and son of Kuldeep Bishnoi, former Hisar MP, Bhavya Bishnoi (26), is one of the youngest contestants in the polls. He is the Congress's nominee from Hisar Lok Sabha seat, that was his family's bastion until 2014, when Dushyant Chautala, great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, defeated his father.
You have stayed abroad for many years. Will you be able to connect to the people at the grassroots level?
I have grown up in Hisar and Delhi. I finished high school from Gurgaon. When I was growing up, I spent time with my father, grandfather and party workers… I was exposed to the challenges faced by the people of Haryana. I went abroad when I was 18 years old. Till then, my foundation had become stronger. I stayed abroad for four years and completed my post-graduation. My objective was always to come back and serve the people, which I am currently doing. Over the last couple of years, I have travelled extensively across Hisar. The BJP's nominee (Brijendra Singh) is a parachute candidate who has never stepped into Hisar before. As for the incumbent MP, we have seen his work in the last five years.
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How will you launch your campaign?
In the next few days, I will launch a manifesto with my vision and solutions to the core issues which the people, particularly of Hisar constituency, are facing. Although the manifesto shall be in line with the national manifesto (released by the Congress), it will cater to the specific needs of the constituency. It is going to be a revolutionary step because, probably for the first time, a Lok Sabha candidate will be launching a manifesto exclusively for his parliamentary constituency.
In Hisar, the three top candidates belong to political families. Does that give the candidates an advantage?
Coming from a political family will definitely give you an initial edge. But that is true for any profession. But in a democracy, you can have such an edge only once. Then you have to prove yourself. In Hisar, both the BJP and Jannayak Janta Party candidates belong to political families. I am not the only one.
What are the key issues in this election?
The (Central) government has not fulfilled its promises. Be it creating 12 crore jobs, increasing farmers' income, depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of people, controlling inflation etc. Look at Haryana, which has the second highest unemployment rate among states… I know it is very difficult for an MP to ensure jobs for people but I will propose ideas that might help generate employment. We will also propose to make Hisar the capital of the state. Haryana is an agricultural state, and farmers' distress, lack of water, falling crop prices are among the focus areas. Atrocities against women is also a priority issue for me.
Do you think the BJP has polarised votes across Haryana? Will it affect you?
The BJP pides people on the basis of religion and caste. All that the BJP wants is to win elections by hook or by crook. But I believe people of Hisar and Haryana are aware, well-informed and intelligent. I don't think they will fall victim to pisive politics.
Did you always want to be a politician?
When I was growing up, I wanted to become a cricketer. I wanted to represent India. I played cricket for Delhi. But as I grew up, spent time with my father and grandfather, visited Hisar and met people, I felt a sense of motivation and passion to serve the people. Also, I felt that India has enough excellent cricketers but there is a lack of good leaders in politics.