SANWALIYA (Chittorgarh): If the public response that Congress “Sankalp rally” got in politically significant Udaipur division on Friday is anything to go by, the BJP will have to do more than speechmaking to retain power in the upcoming state elections. The ground adjacent to the Sanwaliya Ji temple where the rally was held was jammed with people, mostly tribal youth and women, leaving the organisers overjoyed. The Congress had arranged for 1 lakh audience.

The party fully capitalized on the people’s turnout by stretching the programme by nearly two hours. (PCC) president Sachin Pilot, while addressing the gathering, said the Congress has taken the ‘Sankalp’ (vow) that once it comes to power three months from now, no farmer will have to commit suicide and no youth will remain unemployed. “They (BJP) want to postpone the state elections out of fear of losing but people will show them the mirror whenever the polls are held, be it even today.”

Mocking at chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s target of winning 180 seats in the coming elections, Pilot said, “Her party will not get that figure even if it puts together that seats they will get in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Mizoram (the four states going to polls this year).”

He added, “With the kind of mandate that Raje got (in 2013), she could have changed the face of Rajasthan. But she was more worried about distributing bajri (sand) leases and opening and sealing the gates of palaces. Now, she wants people to vote for her again but people can see through her designs.”

Pilot accused Raje of spending public money on her ‘Gaurav Yatra’ and running BJP’s poll campaigns while turning down farmers’ demand for complete loan waiver.

AICC general secretary (organization) Ashok Gehlot urged people to not get carried away by Raje or BJP’s ‘false promises’ and vote them out of power. “Inko nipta do (finish them),” Gehlot told the gathering, who burst into cheers. “You defeated us for no wrong. But this government has fooled you at every step. Don’t miss the opportunity and vote them out,” the former CM said, while comparing his government (2008-2013) with present Raje-government. He added, “The big turnout here today shows what is going on in the minds of people.”

Gehlot stressed that his government from 1998 to 2003 performed best despite there being four years of drought, yet the people voted the Congress out. “When we were voted back, we again took utmost care of people and yet lost again in the succeeding election. But I cannot understand why Raje is cheating people who gave her more seats than me,” Gehlot said. Targeting Raje’s strategy of poll campaigns, Gehlot said, “She seeks votes for ‘muh-dikhai’; sometimes she becomes a Rajput, then a Jatni and then an in-law of Gujjars to woo voters. But how long will the people give her votes in muh-dikhai?” Gehlot made pointed attacks on Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah too over corruption issues like the controversial Rafale aircraft deal.
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