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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Time over for people ruling from forts, says Congress’ Tonk candidate Sachin Pilot

Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot is campaigning in his Tonk constituency for the December 7 assembly election in the state. He is contesting state elections for the first time.

rajasthan-elections Updated: Nov 27, 2018 14:16 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Tonk
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot during election campaign for the state assembly at Tonk, Saturday, Nov 24, 2018.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot during election campaign for the state assembly at Tonk, Saturday, Nov 24, 2018. (PTI)

While some BJP leaders have called the Congress a ‘barat’ without a groom, people of a village in Tonk mounted Sachin Pilot on a mare on Saturday.

The state Congress president is making his debut in assembly polls from the Tonk constituency in the December 7 Rajasthan assembly election. While campaigning, he was stopped 100 metres from his meeting venue by hundreds of people from Chaan village and urged to mount the mare to cover the distance.

Accepting their request, he rode the mare for a few metres and then walked down to the venue, with the villagers playing dhol, bursting crackers and shouting slogans. At the venue, a number of women tied rakhis to Pilot.

At many places during the campaign, Pilot was weighed with fruits -- apples and bananas -- by villagers, which were then distributed among them.

The usually deserted roads in the rural areas came buzzing with gatherings, beats of dhol, cracker busting and convoys of vehicles. Dressed in white kurta-pyjama, two-time MP Pilot was welcomed with garlands.

Addressing meetings from 9am till late night, Pilot attacked the state BJP government, exposing what he called its failures. “How much a gas cylinder cost earlier and what is the price now?” he asked people. He sought to turn on heat on the government on unemployment, corruption, and farmers’ suicides.

“Chief minister Vasundhara Raje says farmers’ loans were waived off. Half an hour before the election code of conduct was to be implemented, she announced that electricity tariff would be reduced for farmers,” Pilot said.

“Now you are remembering farmers but you did nothing in 4 years, 11 months and 29 days. Can someone sitting in Jaipur and Delhi understand the pain of farmers. Time is over for these people who are ruling from forts and palaces. Now it’s time for farmers, youth, and everyone in Rajasthan.”

He said, “I am honoured that I am contesting from Tonk. The situation shows that BJP MLAs, MPs, ministers, CM and PM had no concern for the area.”

Pooja, who was listening to the Congress state chief at Sonwa village, said, “I will cast my vote for the first time. I will vote for him (Pilot).”

For complete coverage of Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018, click here

BJP candidate Yunus Khan held a meeting in Mehandwas, less than 500 metres from Pilot’s rally. Blame game was the tenor of their speeches.

“God will help him (Pilot) win,” said Rukmani Devi from Lambha gram panchayat. “Tonk is most backward in Rajasthan and the reason is casteism. No government cared for the place. The district needs industries and rail lines. Pilot will get a big mandate,” said Ramavtar of Darda Hind village.

Addressing a gathering at this village, Pilot assured people of development. “If I win, development will happen here.”

Many remembered his father Rajesh Pilot when he addressed a gathering at Sonva village. At a programme for teachers in Tonk, Pilot said, “Education is not an expenditure but an investment for future. Education helps children broaden their horizon and become better citizens. The key to development of any country is education.”

Pilot addressed a gathering at the main market of Tonk at 9.30pm. He continued meeting leaders and workers till late into the night.

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 14:14 IST

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