Gautam Gambhir: AAP aggressively pursuing statehood for Delhi to hide its failures

Abhishek De
BJP leader Gautam Gambhir at a press conference in Delhi on Thursday. (Express photo)

Not one to shy away from speaking his mind on political matters, cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir on Thursday said the AAP was aggressively pursuing the statehood issue to hide its failures in governance.

Gambhir further said the Congress and AAP had no vision except defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

"AAP has made statehood its plank just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections to hide its failures. It is just a ploy as they don’t have anything concrete to show in governance. The Opposition doesn’t have any vision except defeating PM Modi and Amit Shah," Gambhir, who joined BJP last month, said.

Gambhir has replaced Maheish Girri as the BJP candidate from East Delhi, setting up a clash with Congress’ Arvinder Singh Lovely and Aam Aadmi Party’s Atishi.

Gambhir said the main challenge before BJP in Delhi was not AAP and Congress. (Express photo)

The 37-year-old former cricketer said the main challenge before BJP in Delhi was not AAP and Congress but fulfilling the promises made by PM Modi and take his development agenda forward.

"AAP and Congress are not the main challenges for BJP. The challenge is to fulfil the promises made by the party and PM Modi," Gambhir said.

Gambhir identified sanitation and drinking water as the main issues plaguing East Delhi, which he felt has been neglected by subsequent governments.

"Will make East Delhi the best constituency. Many people boast of turning Delhi into London or Paris but neglect improving basic amenities like sanitation and drinking water facilities. Will make the city how a national capital should be. Pollution is also a major issue," he said.

When asked how he planned to reach out to the masses since he is a newcomer in politics, Gambhir said it was not about an inpidual but the BJP team as a whole that would appeal to the voters.

"We work as a team. Like cricket, politics also involves teamwork. It is the team that will make me successful. Have entered politics because I was impressed by the work done by PM Modi. Don’t want to be famous on Twitter or social media, but want to do actual work on the ground and be remembered for that," Gambhir said.

Gambhir said his vision was clear and he would go to people with the agenda of development. "I have played cricket with true spirit and have now joined politics with the same intention," Gambhir said.

When asked about Lovely’s remarks that he was an outsider on a "picnic" in East Delhi, Gambhir said, "Lovely should tell whether he was on a picnic in the BJP." In April 2017, Lovely quit the Congress and joined BJP. He returned back to Congress in February 2018.