New Delhi: The BJP is facing “infighting and groupism” in Rajasthan which is evident from the two separate campaigns being run by party president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Congress’ state unit chief Sachin Pilot said Sunday, while asserting that all senior leaders in his party were on the same page.
Pilot, who is spearheading the Congress charge against the Raje government, exuded confidence of a big win in poll-bound Rajasthan.
In an interview to PTI, Pilot said that as the state unit chief, he has given his inputs on the issue of alliance and now it was up to party president Rahul Gandhi to take a final call on it.
I am very proud that Rajasthan has very strong and very tall leaders in the Congress party. All of them have contributed immensely to make the party as strong as it is today… Jitne zyada hain utna achcha hai (the more leaders there are, the better it is,” Pilot said, rejecting BJP’s criticism of infighting in the Congress.
His remarks come following Shah’s swipe at the Congress that it should decide whether it will be Pilot or Ashok Gehlot who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate.
Countering BJP’s contention, Pilot said that on the contrary, it was the BJP that was grappling with “infighting and groupism”. “It is the BJP where Shah is campaigning separately in Rajasthan and the chief minister is campaigning separately. “Amit Shah could not for 75 days get the (state) president of his choice, he had to buckle under the pressure of Vasundhara ji and have a compromise candidate as the BJP president,” he said.
On the raging Rafale issue, Pilot asserted that the BJP will have to give answers on the “scam” as it is bound to be a “burning issue” in the minds of the people in the upcoming assembly elections.
He said the “revelations” by former French president Francois Hollande have left “no doubt” that there had been corruption in the Rafale deal.
In a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll promises, Pilot said claims were made that “na khaunga na khane dunga” (will not indulge in corruption and will not allow others to indulge in it too), and now the government has been “caught red-handed”.
Pilot, who has been touring Rajasthan as part of the party’s Sankalp Yatra, said the Congress was eyeing a win in all five assembly elections as it was well placed in the poll-bound states.
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana are expected to go to polls before the end of this year and both the Congress and the BJP are gearing up to take each other on in a contest that will set the tone for the 2019 general election.
“In Rajasthan, we are focussing on winning the elections and winning it comprehensively, Pilot said.
On Raje’s recent criticism of him, the 41-year-old leader said if she chooses to make personal allegations and attacks, then the people will give a befitting reply to those charges.
Asked about the party’s crowdfunding campaign for the Rajasthan assembly polls, Pilot said it was an AICC initiative.
“What we have decided is to involve the people as much as possible. So, apart from the small financial contributions that people want to make, it is also about the connect that people (are able to) have, he said, adding that the Congress does not want to succumb to the threats of corporate lobbies.
Pilot alao slammed Raje’s Gaurav Yatra’ saying that after the Rajasthan High Court stopped the government from using the taxpayers’ money, it has become a “damp squib”.