Cong is Everything I Stand For: Son of Ex-BJP U’khand CM Khanduri

Manish, son of ex-Uttarakhand CM & senior BJP leader BC Khanduri, says he joined Congress for ideological reasons.

Updated
Elections
2 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

“I am disappointed with the way the BJP treated my father, but that is not the reason – I would like to specify – why I have joined the Congress. The reasons are much more fundamental,” said Manish Khanduri, days after filing nomination from Uttarakhand’s Pauri-Garhwal seat with a Congress ticket.

Manish Khanduri is the son of veteran BJP leader and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri, who was recently removed from the position of chairperson of the defence committee. Junior Khanduri, whose sister is also a local BJP MLA, joined the Congress on 16 March in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi at an election rally in Dehradun.

Speaking to The Quint, Manish says, “The Congress party stands for everything that I stand for. It is basically equity, religious freedom and economic reform with a human face and it is also about moving the country in a direction in a positive and constructive way.”

On the question of whether his father, who is a revered leader in the region, will campaign for him in the upcoming election, Manish said:

“I’ve had a lot of discussions with him. I’ve had his permission. I’ve had his blessings to do what I am doing. And I have had those every single day.”

Manish Khanduri will be battling against his father’s political disciple in his father’s constituency which, incidentally, has been a BJP stronghold.

“I have been coming here since 1978...I mean I recall coming here since 1978. I have been involved in the the political process in one way or the other since 1991. I understand he constituency inside out because I have travelled everywhere. I have been involved in terms of social work in this area since the 1990s. My family trust is very deeply invested in providing scholarships to children in this area and I am heading that. I have also started an institution in 2005 which is based on my grandmother's name and it used to sort of fund and economically help people who require medical attention in Delhi,” he said, when asked what was his record of public service that should convince a voter to come out and choose him.

“I think it is people not just like me but people with diverse set of experiences who need to get into the political process because what we are seeing is essentially very standard, vanilla responses to very deep-rooted problems. And that I fear. I mean there are a lot of people who came in with new ideas,” he added.

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