BJP Not An Election-Winning Machine: Sachin Pilot to The Quint
Son of former politician and minister Rajesh Pilot, Sachin Pilot became a Member of Parliament at the age of 26. At 35, he was appointed the to lead the Congress in Rajasthan and after the party’s recent victory Alwar and Ajmer bypolls, Sachin Pilot is undisputedly one of the most famous Congress leaders of the state.
Pilot spoke exclusively to The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Puglia and discussed a range of issues, right from the Congress’ recent victory in the Rajasthan bypolls to secularism.
On Being The Next Chief Minister of Rajasthan
“I am the Rajasthan Congress chief. Who gets what post in the future, I neither know about it nor care,” said Pilot, when asked about the possibility of him being the next CM of Rajasthan. Pilot said that it has never been the tradition of the Congress party to declare CM faces before an election, only the BJP indulges in that habit.
He also said that while the BJP has declared its CM faces for the upcoming polls in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, it has still not declared Vasundhra Raje as the CM face in Rajasthan despite her being the incumbent chief minister. Pilot claimed this shows her falling popularity.
On Congress’ Bypoll Victory
While pointing out that the BJP lost in all constituencies in the recent bypolls, he said that the defeat shows BJP’s image in the minds of both urban and the rural voters. Pilot claimed that in the last 40 years, the ruling party has always won bypolls, but this was the first time that an opposition party in Rajasthan had won them.
He went on to say that the tenure of the candidates who won the bypolls may last just a few months, but the victory sends a message that the BJP failed to deliver on its promises to the farmers and every other section of society.
BJP Not an Election-Winning Machine
Pilot said that the BJP being an ‘election-winning machine’ is only a myth. He said that the term ‘election-winning machine’ means nothing but the abuse of public money and power.
While commenting on the BJP’s determination to win elections, Pilot said that every BJP worker worked hard in the recent bypolls, but that did not help. He said that the BJP will have to rise above the misconception that their election management will win them the mandate despite not working for the people.
Citing the 2017 Gujarat elections as an example, Pilot said that the BJP was at an advantage in Modi’s state only because the opposition there split before the election, not because the BJP had done good work.
Politics and Religion Should Be Kept Separate
When asked about secularism, Pilot said that politicising religion has become a dangerous precedent in the country. Citing a few BJP leaders’ open hate speeches against other communities, he said that the Congress never believed in such politics.
He also said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi visiting a temple or a Gurudwara is highlighted only by the BJP as part of its communal politics. Pilot said that the BJP accuses the Congress of wooing Hindu voters only on such occasions.
He said that under the garb of cow politics and communalism, the BJP eventually and deliberately sidelines problems of housing, employment, farmers and all other important issues.
He said that when the BJP has no development work to boast of, ‘temple-mosque politics’ is its last resort.
On BJP’s U-Turn
Accusing the BJP of having double standards, he said that the BJP is boasting of having achieved everything that it had opposed while not in power. He said that the BJP had opposed ties with America and its policies and agreements, but Prime Minister Modi is visits the country every year and hugs American presidents.
He said that this is the same party that had opposed 49% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) while in opposition, but is now working for 100% FDI in India.
On One Nation-One Poll
Commenting on the rumour mills about the 2019 elections being rescheduled and the idea of simultaneous polls throughout the country, Pilot said that this issue is also being brought up only to divert people’s attention from real problems.
He said that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the post of party president has given the country a ray of hope, and that the Congress is ready to fight polls whenever they are held.
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Video Translation: Hera Khan
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