'I'll turn police station into a service centre'

An army man for 20 years and a social activist for the past seven, the 48-year old Aam Aadmi Party candidate from South Delhi constituency is all ready for his second stint in politics.

Col (retd) Devinder Sehrawat, who fought the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections from Bijwasan and lost to BJP’s Sat Prakash Rana by 2,400 votes, is more confident of a win in the Lok Sabha elections. “The AAP model has already created ripples in ‘me, my wife, my car and my maid’ circle,” Sehrawat said.

After filing his nomination on Friday, the Mahipalpur resident said that first on his campaigning agenda is addressing “development issues” in rural Delhi. “The previous government has only made cosmetic changes. Our politics is different. We want to achieve systematic reforms by empowering people.”

Sehrawat said if he wins a seat he will ensure “right from the constable to the SHO, everyone is accountable to the public”.

“A police station will be turned into a service station. Action will be taken if there is no output. If necessary, punitive measures will be introduced,” Sehrawat said.

Launching a direct attack on the former Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi, he said, “In rural Delhi – from Badarpur to Narela – there are no public toilets, Mother Dairy booths, Safal counters, government hospitals, Kendriya Vidyalaya or higher educational institutions.”

Sehrawat believes in “thinking out-of-the-box”. For children in village schools, he wants to introduce training in rugby and mountaineering. “We have to expand career options beyond academics.”

The activist, who is relying on ‘mohalla sabhas’, panchayats and door-to-door campaigning, wants to make the capital “a safer place for women”. “If we manage to introduce legal cells in all police stations, crime rates will automatically drop.”

However, he said he is for being “vigilant” though not a “moral police”, while referring in passing to the raid in Khirki Extension by AAP leader Somnath Bharti. “Certain kinds of loose activities like for instance drug peddling cannot be encouraged in our culture.”
Sehrawat believes he has an edge over other candidates.

“I think I am equipped to speak on issues of both local and national relevance because of the exposure I have got. I have written columns on land acquisition in a Hindi daily and also championed the cause of heritage sites. Like I can address the problem of water scarcity, I can also put in perspective how to re-evaluate the nation’s economic model.”

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