Stuck between AAP and BJP, lone independent Delhi MLA waits for Modi call

Dec 10 2013, 18:16 IST
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Rambir Shokeen claimed the AAP approached him around five months ago, asking him to join the party. Rambir Shokeen claimed the AAP approached him around five months ago, asking him to join the party.
SummaryMundka's Shokeen claimed the AAP approached him around five months ago, asking him to join the party.

With Delhi throwing up a hung verdict, the spotlight is now on Rambir Shokeen, the lone independent MLA who won from Mundka. So, is he going to support the BJP or the AAP?

“My support is not with the BJP, it is with (Narendra) Modiji,” the 32-year-old first-time MLA said, surrounded by supporters in his office in Nangloi.

“If Modiji personally calls me up and asks me to support the BJP, I will do it immediately. I don’t even care for the post of deputy chief minister. I’m a big fan of Modiji.”

It’s 6.30 pm on Monday and Shokeen has just returned from a tour of his constituency. Born and raised in Nangloi, he attributed his win to the work he claimed to have done in the past one-and-half year after his wife, Rita, was elected councillor.

He claimed the AAP approached him around five months ago, asking him to join the party. “A senior party member asked me to contest on an AAP ticket, but I refused. There were two reasons for this — one, I wasn’t sure if they would win a good number of seats and, two, even if I had won from here, it would have been Arvind Kejriwal who would have become famous, and nobody would have cared about me,” he said.

Shokeen claimed he decided to contest as an independent after the BJP refused him a ticket from Mundka. “I had spoken to Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel. He said I could contest from Nangloi or a couple of other places but not from Mundka, as Azad Singh had to get that ticket,” he claimed. “I refused because all the work I have done is here in Mundka. Why should I go anywhere else?”

Asked about his contribution to Mundka, he pointed to a large picture on the wall, showing him receiving an award for social service from President Pranab Mukherjee. Framed, the certificate he was awarded hangs next to it.

“I have opened barber shops where people can get a haircut for free. I have opened a gym. I have opened a clinic where a doctor is present all the time. The check-up is free and medicines are also given free. I have arranged for drinking water tankers and they are also free,” he claimed.

His proud father, Srinaval Shokeen said, “He is very polite. That is why people like him and voted for him.”

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