With elections just over a month away, political parties in India have pulled up their socks. As a new player in the so called ‘dirty game’ in India, Welfare Party of India (WPI) has jumped into the field with its value-based politics and inclusive development mantra to woo voter. WPI Andhra Pradesh president Malik Motasim Khan shows his confidence to beat communal forces in upcoming elections, during an interaction with SM Fasiullah in Hyderabad.
WPI of AP performed fairly well in its election debut during Panchayat elections in the state. What response you got when interacting with voters in rural areas?
Indeed we did well in Panchayat Elections in Andhra Pradesh without following immoral and illegal means to woo voters. People liked our fair and honest approach, and believed in our localized action plans. Their positive responses to our call for value-based politics really boosted our morale. Now we want to contest upcoming elections.
Being just over two years old in the state, don’t you think it’s too early for your party to contest for upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections?
Fighting elections is more about the determination of a person or the party. If you have the spirit to serve people and guts to challenge evil in the society then nothing else would matter. We are promising value-based politics, and will field candidates with no criminal records.
How do you see strong competitors in the field such as TRS, Congress, TDP, MIM and YSRCP?
The party has decided to fight communal forces. We will definitely try to speak with all secular like-minded political parties, if need be, to keep communal forces at bay. The party will convince voters to choose non-criminals to run government at both local and national level.
How will you approach voters who already seem to have been moved by either Modi-wave or AAP magic?
In a country like India there will be followers for every celebrity. Modi too has his followers. That does not mean he will sit on Prime Minister’s chair. Indian history is witness to the fact that majority of people in India have chosen secular candidates as Prime Minister in the past for many times. He’s riding high only in Media. The ground reality is different.
As far as AAP is concerned, it came to power in Delhi with its pro-people promises. It fulfilled a few, and walked away from power in just 49 days leaving many other promises and needs of Delhiites unfulfilled. That’s not what people were expecting from Kejriwal and his party. Moreover, the party has not taken clear stand on many issues of national importance.
There are many similarities in WPI & AAP’s manifestos. Is there any possibility of political alliance with AAP?
It’s quite possible to have similarities in policies or action plans of political parties. Political alliance as such may not be possible with AAP at this juncture. But what I think is if a party takes up an issue or a task beneficial for people then there should not be a problem for another like-minded party to support it. We are ready to give and take support in all people welfare works.
You have been a strong supporter of Telengana Movement and led ‘Telangana Garjana’. What would be your reaction if TRS supports BJP post elections?
I reiterate that Telangana Movement for a separate state and TRS are different. TRS has been in forefront as a political party during this movement, in which I too gave my support as a community leader. TRS has not announced its post elections plans yet; therefore it’s better to leave it.
Rumours are making rounds on social network sites that you will contest for Lok Sabha. Is it true? What would be your preferred constituency?
Yes I will contest for Lok Sabha elections. No official statement in this regard has been issued so far, but let me share that Nizamabad is my preferred Lok Sabha constituency as it’s suitable for me. I belong to Nizamabad and want to serve people of my region.
What are the issues that you will take up, particularly during canvassing?
I will do whatever I can to develop Nizamabad. In the past, politicians promised a lot but did trivial things in the name of development. I have decided to take up following things as a priority: Revival of sugar industry; Rail connectivity between Nizamabad and Karimnagar; Infrastructure development; Implementation of all welfare schemes by government; and Development of slum areas. Being myself a member of minorities, I know problems of minority groups including SC/STs and BCs. I have plan for their overall development as well.