New Delhi: Journey from an MCD councillor to Delhi BJP chief, Vijendra Gupta has tough challenges ahead of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections scheduled on April 15. Though he is not in the electoral battlefield but has a herculean task to buck the anti-incumbency against his own party in the civic polls. The MCD elections are crucial for his political career. In a special chat with the Dainik Jagran correspondent Ausotosh Jha, Gupta discuss about the MCD elections which is set to become intense as  the polling day inches closer.

Q. Several party workers have accused you of giving tickets to kith and kin. What do you have to say on their constant protests and demonstrations?

A. The distribution of tickets for 272 seats has been fair and transparent. The 22-member election committee of the party reached consensus over the candidates to be fielded in MCD polls. From across the national capital, 7000 nominations were received, out of which 1000 were shortlisted. Only winnable candidates were given tickets, while few prominent leaders have also been fielded considering their stronghold in wards.

Q. Your wife Sobha Vijendra is also contesting election. How did she receive tickets?  How much time you are giving for her election campaign?

A. Sobha’s name was recommended by the BJP’s west district unit. As the Rohini was reserved for women due to delimitation, the district recommended only Sobha’s name. She was given ticket on her credential. I had no role to play in her selection as a party candidate. Hardly, a week is left for the municipal polls so I am not able to devote time to my wife's campaign. As a Delhi BJP president, I am responsible for campaigning in all the 272 wards.

Q. What are the chances of party's success in MCD polls? Will the rebels cast their shadow on BJP's performance in polls?

A. For the last five years, the party has been doing development works in the MCD. The BJP will win the civic polls on the plank of development. People have faith in our work and we will retain the power in the MCD. In every election, many party workers get dissatisfied over the ticket distribution and they turn rebel. However, this would not affect party’s poll prospect.

Q. Rumours of internal bickering in the BJP have abuzzed political corridors. What will be its effect?

A. I don't think so. The BJP election committee unanimously took every decision. The party has suspended those leaders who indulged in anti-party activities over distribution of tickets. There are strong reasons for denial of tickets to 115 sitting councillors. All the 220 new faces have credibility to win the civic polls.

Q. Tell us about the five achievements of the BJP-ruled MCD?

A. The construction of civic centre is the biggest achievement of the BJP. When it was under construction, the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was contemplating to sell it to builder at mere Rs 396 crores. As the BJP came to power in April 2007, it stopped the deal. Consequently, MCD headquarters has been shifted to the civic centre spreading in 20 acres. By giving the land on lease to Income Tax Department, the MCD has earned Rs 1806.  Besides, it has worked on garbage management, e-governance, road construction and education for all.

Q. MCD elections 2012 are crucial for your political carrier. How will victory or defeat of the party in civic polls affect you?

A. I don’t think about results. I always listen to my inner voice which develops confidence within me to attain success. As far as the political career is concerned, the party high command will decide on it.