On the campaign trail with BJP candidate Queen Ojha
Editor of G Plus, Swapnil Bharali, caught up with Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for Gauhati Lok Sabha seat, Queen Ojha.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Why should the people vote for you?
All of us want development, a corruption-free Assam, corruption-free India and I have been working with the people for the past 40 years. A known face who has worked with honesty and that is my main mantra so, that’s the reason why people will vote for me.
But Bijoya Chakravarty was already the sitting MP. How come the party gave the ticket to you?
Time to time changes have taken place and in Assam all of us have seen new faces this time and considering my experience so far, the party has thought about it and made the decision. Also my popularity amongst the people and working with them and the residents of Guwahati know me as I have been the mayor. I was also in the National Commission for women and currently I am the chairperson of a bank. I am associated with 50 to 60 institutions and I have been working with the common people for a long time.
If you get elected, how different will you be from the current incumbent MP?
I will not compare myself with baideo (Bijoya Chakravarty) as she has done some good work.
What good work has she has done? Can you elaborate?
When I went to Dudhnoi the locals of the area told me to continue the work that Bijoya baideo has done for them. What does that mean? Definitely she has gained popularity among the people and that is the inspiration I will take from her and try to continue to do more. Prime Minister Modi has called the northeast “Asthalakshmi” and he has allotted many schemes to the region. I would draw his attention to our villages in the state as they have not developed although many roads have been constructed. But still much more has to be done.
This is the first time that you are contesting for MP though you have earlier unsuccessfully contested for the MLA post. Any learnings from the last contest?
A lot, because I may have not contested for the past 35 years but I have been in touch with the candidates and have worked with them. So today, wherever I go people recognize me and that’s an advantage for me as I am not unknown to them. They knew me as the General Secretary of the National Commission for women.
How many Vidhan Sabha constituencies have you covered till now?
I have covered all the 10 constituencies three times each.
If I name a constituency, can you tell me what development would you bring to it in the next five years that would truly be construed as “development?” Say Boko Legislative Assembly constituency?
Boko, I would like to work for the development of local tribes over there, mainly their educational institutions and drinking water…
Hajo would be for tourism. There are lot of beautiful monuments and temples, Pua Mecca. When I was a child we used to go to Netal Dhubuni Ghat. Near that we saw lot of caves which had inscriptions on them and people need to know about those. Hajo also has a lot of farmers and fish farmers. Our government has provided 90% subsidy to the fish farmers because we import fish from Andhra Pradesh and if we make our selves self-sufficient. And I will prioritize it.
Our MLA in Borkhetri has done a lot of development; still there is a lot to be done. I have been to some villages in the area as my grandfather belonged from Borbhag and the people have welcomed me with lots love and it should be kept as a secret as Bobbeeta (laughs) may feel scared because I belong from Borbhag and from Palashbari to Dudhnoi to Krishnai are all my maternal side. 90% of the developmental work in Barkhetry has taken place during our time and during Congress regime it was not even 10%. And we will finish the rest 10% to make it 100%.
If you get elected, what would you do for Guwahati city within the first year?
Solve the drinking water problem. It’s a promise I will take up that issue first along with our MLAs and I will try to solve the problem.
I had invited you for a face-off with the other candidates. They had agreed but you refused.
See, I don’t like to land into any controversy. I have to work and go amongst the people. And we don’t have much time for that before the elections.
You have a huge business, car dealerships and petrol pumps. Are you sure you’d have the time to discharge your duties as MP?
Business is looked after by my son and my husband. The party has decided to field me as MP candidate. I will do justice to it. I give equal priorities to both, my home and as a MP.
Would you clarify your stance about the controversy regarding your educational qualification documents?
It was a misunderstanding because the Congress tried to do propaganda to make it an issue. The officials have seen my documents and they found out that it was all rumors which had no logic. I have never been involved in a fraud and neither will I do anything as such in the future. People know that when I was the Mayor I have worked with honesty.