Why Did Manish Sisodia Tweet On Atishi’s Caste? Here’s His Answer

Ahead of Delhi elections, we caught up with Dy CM Manish Sisodia on his campaign trail, and here’s what he said.

Updated10 May 2019, 09:36 AM IST
3 min read

Cameraperson: Sumit Badola
Video Editor:
Varun Sharma

Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, in an interview to The Quint opened up about why he tweeted on Atishi being a ‘Rajputani’. He also spoke at length on why the AAP-Congress alliance failed, why AAP is not focussing as much on the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and the recent Kejriwal-slap controversy when we joined him on a ‘padyatra’ in East Delhi’s Patparganj.

Here are a few snippets from the interview.

A few days back you had tweeted about Atishi saying ‘Beware BJP and Congress, Atishi is a Rajputani’. Isn’t that playing the caste card, something that the AAP opposes?

I would be playing the caste card if I had asked the voters to vote for Atishi because she is a Rajputani. I am saying Atishi has worked in the education sector, AAP has worked in the education sector, that's why vote for us. But Congress was trying to spread lies so it was important to tell the truth.

In an election where politicians are talking about Mandir, Masjid and even mangoes, the Aam Aadmi Party has been constantly focussing on health and education. Do you think this will work on the larger scale?

That was the main motive behind the formation of AAP. We are not some career politicians that we keep winning at any cost and keep raising false issues. We had created the party to address the main issues of the voters. Among them, the biggest areas of concern are education, health and unemployment. We want to solve them. When we raised these issues four years back, people used to say that it was easier to talk about education than do anything on ground. A famous journalist had challenged me four years back to make at least one government school as good
as a private one. I believe after four years – not just one – we have made hundreds of schools better than private schools.

The slapping incident that happened...the attack that took place against Kejriwal...you had blamed it on the Congress and the BJP in your tweet. Do you think there is a political motive behind it?

Not just political motive. PM Modi is scared of Arvind Kejriwal.
He questioned PM Modi why Pakistan is endorsing him. Modi ji is scared of Arvind Kejriwal because the questions that Arvind Kejriwal raises are heard by the voters. He raised the question about Pakistan PM endorsing him as the next PM even though he keeps attacking Pakistan. It means there's something fishy.

AAP had come to power fighting against corruption. In this election too, there is a deal which has come under the corruption scanner. Why is the AAP not focussing much on the Rafale issue, in that case?

No, we have been very vocal about Rafale too. We have raised it in the Parliament. We have done press conferences, but when it comes to elections in Delhi, the main issue is that Delhi's elected govt wants to build a school but the Central govt does not allow it. But these are also Delhi's issues. Raising only one issue will not help anyone. We need to discuss all the issues that are important to voters.

Do you think it may be possible that when Delhi elections happen in 2020 people vote AAP back to power but in the Lok Sabha eelctions they are looking for a PM face in BJP or Congress?

A PM face will not help. That's what we are trying to explain to people that it doesn't matter who becomes the PM what matters is the focus on real issues.

Rahul Gandhi, in an interview, openly said that he was ready to do an alliance with AAP in one second but the AAP wanted an alliance in Punjab and Haryana and were not ready to negotiate on that?

Yes, we were not ready to negotiate because without Haryana and Punjab, it doesn't make sense for AAP to have an alliance with Rahul Gandhi's party.

But you say the main aim is to defeat the Amit Shah-Narendra Modi duo...

Yes absolutely. We wanted to defeat them in 33 seats. In Delhi, we can defeat them alone. If there was an alliance only in Delhi, then Congress would have lost. Congress will still lose now. We had always asked for 33 seats. After some days, we tried negotiating for 18 seats. When they did not agree on even 18 seats, then we said we don't need an alliance in Delhi.

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Published: 10 May 2019, 09:07 AM IST
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