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Modi wave is over, says Sachin Pilot

The Rajasthan Congress president talks about the party’s poll prospects in Rajasthan where bypolls are due soon.

jaipur Updated: Dec 20, 2017 08:45 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times
Sachin Pilot,Rahul Gandhi,Narendra Modi
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot. (HT Photo)

After the Congress’s improved poll performance in Gujarat, the party is upbeat. In an interview to HT, Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot talks about the party’s poll prospects in Rajasthan where bypolls are due soon and assembly elections will be held next year.

How do you see poll results in neighbouring Gujarat?

Congress had a moral victory in Gujarat. BJP claimed 150 seats before polls, but was reduced to 99. This happened due to an aggressive campaign by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, which shook the BJP roots in Gujarat. We have improved by around 20 seats; this election has far-reaching positive consequences for the Congress.

Agrarian distress and lack of social development are more pronounced in Rajasthan than in Gujarat. People are looking up to the Congress. The party won zila parishad by-elections in Rajasthan, which indicates that people are in favour of the Congress.

Will the Congress join hands with other groups or parties like in Gujarat?

Congress wants to take every one, who are likeminded, along. In Gujarat, the BJP fought polls on caste basis, whereas Congress gave a platform to disgruntled sections. BJP resorted to lathicharge, but we gave chance for discussions.

Does Congress have a solution to the resentment among youth and farmers?

Farming community is in distress and we demanded complete loan waiver. When other states have done it, why cannot it be done in Rajasthan? Congress in Rajasthan protested, staged dharna and demonstrations, whereas BJP denied any suicide by farmers; they are ignoring the crisis. We are not just pointing out shortcomings but have a vision for farmers and youth. BJP promised jobs to youth, but now they are feeling cheated. Those working are even laid off.

Will the poll results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have any impact on Congress prospects in Rajasthan?

Every state has a different political landscape. In Himachal Pradesh, the government changes in every five years. In Gujarat, the number of seats of the ruling party declined. In Rajasthan, there is a positive atmosphere for the Congress.

The BJP is unmasked, and the Modi wave is over. Be it demonetisation or GST, it has affected common people; there is economic slowdown and people are going jobless.

BJP in Rajasthan is targeting 180 seats. What is Congress eyeing at?

In Gujarat, BJP claimed 150 and got 99 seats; such figures are just claims. We will have a comfortable majority in Rajasthan.

Will you contest Ajmer bypoll?

Four years back, the national party leadership appointed me as state Congress president. The leadership will decide whether I will contest Ajmer Lok Sabha bypoll.

How do you plan to handle factionalism in Rajasthan?

A ruling party MLA is alleging this (Raje rule) is the most corrupt government in the history of Rajasthan. The fact is that we have no factionalism in comparison to the ruling party.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 20:32 IST