Source : The Times of India, Last updated : 9 Nov 2018,1:54 am

'Raje betrayed people's mandate in Rajasthan'

'Raje betrayed people's mandate in Rajasthan'
BJP will try to distract the electorate but people have made up their mind, Sachin Pilot tells TOI's Subodh Ghildiyal in an interview. Excerpts:
What makes Congress so confident about its prospects in Rajasthan polls?

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje betrayed the trust of people. For us, it is about exposing the corruption, misgovernance and arrogance she has displayed over five years. She shut the doors of her palace for five years but because of our campaign to expose her, she has now climbed atop a government bus and is touring the state. But we are going ahead with a positive agenda to rebuild Rajasthan by adding people as stakeholders. There is agricultural distress with 150 farmers committing suicide. The top priority for Congress is to create an economic agenda to ensure gainful employment for youth. Raje launched "resurgent Rajasthan" but not 3% investment has come because nobody wants to invest here as the law and order is bad, there are mob lynchings and rapes.

Can Congress overcome BJP's organisational machine?

We started gearing ourselves up for the assembly elections five years ago. A political party cannot win by just making a last dash. It had to be a sustained effort to defeat the money and muscle power of BJP. People are looking at Congress as a ray of hope. It transcends caste and religion. We are not making false, unrealistic promises. We will get a very large majority. The young are firmly behind Congress. BJP is getting squeezed from all sides, be it farmers, youth or Dalits.

Have you factored in the effect of PM Narendra Modi's campaign in your calculations?

No matter what the BJP central leadership does, it cannot wish away five years of Vasundhara government. They can talk about national issues but the local issues are there. BJP chief Amit Shah and PM Modi will come here and talk about National Register of Citizens, J&K ... but people want to hear about bread and butter issues. The die is cast. People have made up their mind.

Who is Congress's CM face in Rajasthan -you or Ashok Gehlot?

Congress has never announced CM candidate in Rajasthan in 70 years barring once or twice. We are fighting on party platform. We want the party to win. Victory is very crucial for us in all three BJPruled states. Who heads the government is not important as much as how to form the government. I was made the state unit chief five years ago and I have got complete support from all my colleagues.


But the jostling for the top post gives impression of infighting?

You look at the BJP. Look at BJP chief Amit Shah and CM Raje, one goes to the north and the other goes south. The tensions within BJP are well known. In Congress, there has not been a single instance of someone being out of line.


Will you contest the assembly elections? You did not contest the Lok Sabha bypoll in Ajmer?

It is up to the party to decide. My wish is immaterial. I did not contest the LS bypoll because my responsibility was to win all three seats (2 LS and one assembly) and we won them handsomely.
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