People have rejected BJP’s politics and policies, says Sachin Pilot
An upbeat Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said the BJP tried to polarise voters to win the assembly elections, but the people of the state rejected its “ideas and attempts”. The 41-year-old former Union minister, a strong contender for the chief minister’s post, told Aurangzeb Naqshbandi that experts should not forget that the Congress has secured a clear majority. Edited excerpts:
Q: What are the factors that led to the Congress party’s victory?
A: The BJP’s policies and politics have been completely rejected and the people have chosen the Congress. Besides, the huge agrarian distress, unemployment, and economic slowdown—all those things had plagued the people’s lives and contributed to BJP’s defeat.
Q: You appear to be comfortably placed, but will you still approach the smaller parties for support?
A: The Congress has been clear that it will work with all those parties which are opposed to the BJP. The nation is far more important than anything else. We have got a clear mandate, but we still think that anti-BJP forces need to work together.
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Q: Two months ago, it seemed a one-way contest but in the end it turned out to be a neck-and-neck fight. How did the BJP manage to regain some of the lost ground?
A: Both the Central and state governments put in lot of money and used all the machinery and bureaucracy. (Uttar Pradesh chief minister)Yogi Adityanath addressed two dozen rallies with a single motive to polarise voters. They tried everything — religion, mandir-masjid — to polarise. The report card of Vasundhara-ji (outgoing chief minister Raje) showed a huge failure. Don’t forget that we started with 21 seats and now we have secured a clear majority. The BJP has lost almost 100 seats. Five years ago, they were at
Q: What will be the Congress government’s first priority?
A: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has clearly articulated that the first thing will be to remove the financial crisis that the farmers of Rajasthan are facing and also to create jobs for the unemployed. These are two pressing problems Rajasthan is facing.
Q: So, who is going to be the next chief minister of Rajasthan?
A: We’re meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. The central observer from Delhi, KC Venugopal, has come. The Congress party will take a call tomorrow as to who will head the next government. But for us, the important part was to defeat the BJP -- which we all have collectively been able to do.