The battle for West Delhi might very well be a formidable one, even though Balbir Singh Jakhar, AAP’s fresh face will go up against two seasoned politicians. In an exclusive interview with Abhinay Lakshman of the Millennium Post, Jakhar explains what he can bring to the table and why being a fresh face might actually give him an edge in West Delhi. Excerpts What is your campaign strategy looking like? Look, my first and foremost appeal to the people of West Delhi is to vote based on the party’s work and its manifesto; that is how democracies work everywhere. Whatever our government has promised, it has delivered. Starting from uplifting the poor, bringing water, electricity, to building infrastructure for health and education, the AAP government has achieved so much in this limited time with limited powers. So, my appeal is for people to vote for legislators who will go to parliament and raise questions on behalf of their electorate. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesWhat are some of the issues you will be focusing on while campaigning in West Delhi? Most importantly, we are looking at jobs for youth and education. If we are successful in making Delhi a full state, within three months we will be able to bring several lakh job vacancies for the youth to fill up. We have already written to the LG that there are currently around two lakh vacancies. So many of these vacancies are taken up by people from outside Delhi. If you look at any state in India, youth and residents there get first preference so that they get an opportunity to better their lives. But here, residents of the Capital city don’t get these jobs because Delhi is not a full state. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarYour opponents have both won the seat at least once. How do you think that will affect your chances? See, my opposition here does not bother me one bit. It would have been difficult for me if these candidates had actually done good work, for Delhiites and their electorate, but that is not the case. Even though I’m a fresh face, the AAP government has done a lot of good for the people, I have always been involved in social work. As a lawyer and as chairman of bar councils, I have worked for the electorate of Delhi and now I want to work for the people of West Delhi. In fact, the reason I might have an edge is that both of my major opponents have been in politics for so long and have failed to accomplish anything meaningful. What area will you focus on, if elected? Firstly, people here in West Delhi live in the countryside; most of them own land in some form. I am also from a zamindaar farmer family. Farmers’ issues here are something I understand and empathise with to a great extent. Moreover, the AAP government has done so much for them. In fact, the compensations that this government has fought to provide for farmers in cases of land lost due to natural disasters is something no other government in India has managed to do. Our party has always taken care of farmers’ needs, be it times when their yield was not good enough or when they didn’t have enough to feed themselves. So, this is something I promise to fight for if I get into parliament. The recent sealing drive in Mayapuri will surely be used by politicians in their campaign. How will you address the issue? Look, I am not going to unnecessarily politicise this incident. When it happened, I went down there and immediately applied myself to their problems, legally. Being a lawyer and having a legal background, we immediately went to court with the issue and that is where we have and will continue to argue our side of the matter. The legal work is what will get them results at the end of the day. And this is what I’ve told people in Mayapuri. I’ve assured them that no matter what the outcome is on May 23, I will continue to fight the legal battle for traders in Mayapuri. The AAP manifesto makes promises with a condition of Statehood. What happens if you are elected and fail to get statehood? We are in service of the “aam aadmi”, we serve at the pleasure of our electorate. And this principle is so strong within our party that our Chief Minister, himself does whatever is required to get work done for the people of Delhi. If a man like him can sit in protest for seven days to get better policies for Delhiites, then any of our parliamentarians can put in everything to fight for full statehood in Lok Sabha. Former governments and politicians have gone back on promises of statehood for Delhi. What I’m asking for is a chance to put up a fight in parliament for this cause. I am confident that we will be able to push it through.