Cong Within Striking Distance Of Power In Rajasthan: Sachin Pilot

Sachin Pilot, the state Congress chief,  said he expects the BJP to be combative.

Published21 Nov 2018, 05:06 PM IST
Rajasthan Elections 2018
2 min read

The Congress is confident of winning elections in Rajasthan riding on an anti-incumbency wave to clinch the desert state from the Bharatiya Janata Party. But it’s not taking anything for granted.

While most opinion polls give the party an easy victory in the state that goes to polls on 7 December, Sachin Pilot, the state Congress chief and a contender for the chief minister’s job, said he expects the BJP to be combative.

“I don’t take things lightly. In fact, we have kept our ear to the ground,” Pilot said in an interview with BloombergQuint. “We are well placed. We are within striking distance of forming the government but work still is to be done. The next two weeks will be crucial.”

Pilot said the BJP was engaging in politics that was retrograde and backward-looking.

The BJP is re-enacting the UP template which is sad and unfortunate.
Sachin Pilot, Congress Leader

He blamed Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje-led government for failing to deliver on promises. Pointing out the poor state of Rajasthan’s finances, Pilot said the Congress government would not discontinue popular schemes of the Raje administration, like the Bhamashah Yojana, which is aimed at women. Instead, he said, the new government would focus on improving the scheme to plug the gaps.

Is it Looking Like a Walkover as Some Surveys are Predicting?

I am one of those people who believe that every election is a challenge. And the party in power will use every resource at its disposal to make it a combative election. I don’t take things lightly. In fact, we have kept our ear to the ground. We have worked diligently for the last five years. We are well placed. We are within striking distance of forming the government but the work still is to be done. The next two weeks will be crucial.

You are Fighting the Election from Tonk. Why That Constituency Specifically?

We have left the decision to Congress president as to who will contest and from where. I have been party president for five years. Mr Gandhi made it clear that he wants me to fight the election. So, all of us are contesting.

As far as the choice of the constituency, that was also a party decision. I have been an MP from Dausa. That seat got reserved for ST, so I couldn’t contest from there. Then I was an MP from Ajmer and recently we won a by-election in  Ajmer. So, we have sitting MP from Ajmer. Tonk is a seat that is actually adjacent. It is between Dausa and Ajmer. And the party felt that my candidature there will help the party not just in that district but perhaps will have a positive impact on the Congress party in surrounding areas.

I am very happy that I have been asked to contest. I have had a two-day campaign in Tonk and people have been very receptive, very warm and very loving. The area is quite backward. We’ve had a BJP MLA, BJP MP, BJP CM, BJP PM for five years and that place deserves a lot better than what it has got.

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