“Politics should be the medium to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of every citizen.”
– Vijay Darda
Vijay Darda began his active political career in 1998 and served as a Member of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) for three consecutive terms till 2016. He had to step in to fill the vacuum created after the demise of his father and freedom fighter Jawaharlal Darda (Babuji). He firmly believes that politics is the medium to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of every citizen.
Becoming a Parliamentarian was crucial for Darda’s transition from business to social service. He was keen on entering Rajya Sabha on the Indian National Congress’ (INC) nomination. Though the party denied him a ticket, he entered the 1998 elections as an independent candidate and won the seat which reflected people’s goodwill towards him.
Darda endorses the ideology of the INC which advocates secularism and strives to alleviate the woes of the common man. When other parties lured him to their fold, he resolutely stood his ground and worked as an associate member of the INC in the Parliament. Reciprocating his gesture, the party nominated him for a 2nd and 3rd term in 2004 and 2010 respectively.
Darda carries forward the legacy of his father for steadfastly supporting INC during political upheavals. He diligently worked to dissolve the internal squabbles within the party and united all factions to ensure victory of INC in Maharashtra Assembly election of 2004. Under his aegis, Lokmat Media Group also published ‘Lokmat Congress Centenary Special’ to commemorate the completion of 100 years of the party.
Darda has perfected a different brand of development-oriented politics in Vidarbha region. For the Wardha-Yavatmal-Nanded rail link project, he relentlessly pursued with several railway ministers for a decade and also convinced the Maharashtra Government to bear 40 percent of the cost. He envisions that it will play an instrumental role in boosting the region’s economy.
Similarly, he championed the project of building an airport in his hometown Yavatmal, named ‘Jawaharlal Darda Airport’, that is incentivizing industrialists to set up businesses in the district. He had facilitated the government’s economic relief package for farmers in the region and organised the Shetkari Atmanirbharata Rath Yatra under Lokmat Krishi Manch to motivate the distressed farmers.
Darda also participated as a delegate member at the World Economic Forum, United Nations Security Council meeting and Non-Aligned Movement summit. During his foreign tours as part of official delegations, he exchanged insights on issues ranging from climate change, right to education, poverty eradication, economic development and food security.
Being an articulate communicator, Darda drew the attention of leaders across the political spectrum who heard him with profound interest. His efforts in utilizing the Parliamentary forum to advance his father’s principles of fighting for the downtrodden, lending voice to the voiceless and contributing to nation building, has been the hallmark of his political journey.