JAIPUR: With Congress all set to begin its second leg of ‘Sankalp Rally’ in the BJP stronghold of Churu on Tuesday, politics over yatras and rallies have warmed up in the state.
Poll campaigns of both parties entered a new ‘stage’ after the violence witnessed during chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra in Jodhpur district on Saturday. The Congress-BJP slugfest over the incident has raised concerns if violence would become a regular part of upcoming rallies and yatras for the assembly polls due in December.
Former BJP state president and MLA Ashok Parnami, the co-convener for Raje’s yatra, said on Monday that her campaign schedule will not be changed because of the stone-pelting in Jodhpur district on August
25. Blaming Congress for the incident, Parnami went a step ahead and said, “Had we wished, we too could have disrupted Congress rallies. But that is not our thinking. We do not believe in pulling legs but think of
running faster to reach our destination.” Parnami was addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here.
The statement evoked a strong reaction from the Congress. “Was it Congress that showed black flags to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu earlier this year? Was it Congress that booed chief minister Vasundhara Raje in Sikar subsequently? Was it Congress that staged protests in Fatehpur recently? No, it’s the people, who have been facing harassment for the past nearly five years at the hands of this government, that are protesting against the CM’s yatra,” Govind Singh Dotasra, the Congress chief whip, told TOI.
“BJP knows it‘s losing, so it‘s making desperate attempts to get public sympathy by blaming Congress and its leaders for the widespread protests against the CM during her yatra. But people are now aware of BJP’s tactics,” Dotasra added. The BJP, on the other hand, continued to blame the Congress for all the disruptions faced by Raje. Be it the stone-pelting at her “rath” in Pipad city in Jodhpur division or the Gujjars’ opposition to her yatra in Bharatpur division, the BJP has accused Congress of being the instigator.
Not in Cong culture to be violent: Sachin Pilot
“Sachin Pilot (PCC chief) may continue to instigate the Gujjars, but the community will not be misled. Gujjars know it’s the BJP that works for their welfare,” Parnami said.
“It’s not in the Congress culture to resort to violence or disrupt programmes. It is the people who are venting their anger over their disillusionment with the BJP government.
Why would we try to disrupt or instigate people, especially when the Congress rallies are already receiving tremendous public support?” asked Vivek Bansal, the Congress co-incharge for Rajasthan.
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