BJP’s Nationalism a Trap: Olympian Poonia on Jaipur Campaign Trail

“PM Modi is scared of Rajasthan as Rajasthan is the state which will do the job of removing him,” Poonia said.

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Taking a jibe at the BJP’s use of rhetoric, Congress Jaipur (rural) candidate says nationalism is BJP’s trap, “They’ve (BJP) learnt how to repeatedly tell lies. But in 2019, there is a change, because homes cannot function on rhetoric. When there is no employment, how will a young person raise her family?”

It is a high-power contest between two Olympians, Commonwealth gold medalists and Padma Shree awardees in Rajasthan’s Jaipur (rural) constituency on 6 May. On one side we have sitting BJP MP and Cabinet minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and on the other is discus thrower Krishna Poonia from the Congress.

The Quint joined Poonia on her campaign trail in Jodhpura village in Jaipur. A marked departure from other rallies attended by this reporter, there were women at almost every public meeting held by Poonia.

While both Rathore and Poonia started their political careers in 2013, Rathore won in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls riding high on the Modi wave and Poonia contested the 2013 Assembly elections from Rajasthan’s Sadulpur constituency and lost. While Rathore went onto become Cabinet minister in the PM Modi-led government, Poonia contested again on the same seat in 2018. This time she won by over 18,000 votes.

When asked why she is a better pick than Rathore for the seat, she said, “Today also in Jaipur rural I see that people are still asking for water, electricity, roads and colleges. So for five years, Rathore was a minister in the Cabinet, you were also elected MP with a big margin, so what did you do then? The Congress government on the other hand has always come up with schemes thinking of people whether it is a farmer, poor person, a labourer, small-scale business, women, or youth. Our schemes and our thinking is better than the BJPs.”

She also talks about sexism in politics, being a farmer’s daughter and winning all 25 Lok Sabha seats of the state. “PM Modi is scared of Rajasthan. As that is where the change began for his party and Rajasthan is the state which will do the job of removing him,” she said.

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Topics:  elections 2019 

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