Former Delhi minister and AAP candidate from Mangolpuri assembly Rakhi Birla feels people were disappointed by the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister but they have not ‘broken up’ with the party and will make it a clear winner in the polls on Saturday.
One of the most prominent faces of the party, Birla who had defeated then minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in the 2013 polls, said people have been critical of the party’s action but they have not lost faith in it.
She had become the youngest minister in Delhi government when she was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister at the age of 26 on December 28, 2013.
“People were obviously disappointed by the decision, but they are only hurt, it is not a ‘break-up’. Though they were critical of us but they have immense faith on us,” she said.
Birla, who belongs to a poor family, said she was facing fund crunch in her bid to retain the Mangolpuri constituency in North West Delhi.
According to her election affidavit, her assets had declined from Rs 51,150 in 2013 to Rs 18,500.
“The biggest challenge I am facing is lack of money power. I do not have the money to run for the elections,” she said.
“But my volunteers are my biggest strength. Their selfless service and dedication to the campaign in the constituency and throughout the city keep me going.”
Birla had defeated Chauhan who had represented the constituency for four terms. She had bagged 44,383 votes as against 33,798 votes polled by Chauhan. BJP only managed to come third by polling 31,232 votes.
Birla is focusing on women safety and said it is her “priority” in the crime-prone constituency. She is also reaching out to the voters on issues like sewerage, water, and power.
“Women do not feel safe in Mangolpuri. The absence of a proper drainage system, demands for pension benefits, bad infrastructure as well as water and power cuts are the other problems crippling the area.
“I have spent a considerable sum on solar lights, CCTVs and development of parks in the area out of the funds allotted to me,” she said.