Congress veteran and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said during a press conference at Ahmedabad Circuit House, Wednesday, that “there is a tremendous anti-incumbency wave in Gujarat.” He apprised on the party’s 90-day plan to strength its core before the ballot takes over.
“Gandhi’s land is being ruined under the pretext of ‘Gujarat Model.’ The real model for Gujarat is the ‘Congress Model.’ The same government since 27 years has stagnated growth and retarded the pace of development in the state. Plus, it has made its corrupt web stronger with each year,” stated Gehlot, who has been appointed Congress senior observer in Gujarat for the Assembly elections.
When asked to elaborate on the “Congress Model,” he shared that “a slow and steady approach” is the party’s mantra to change.
“In 2017, the government was formed by misusing the Income Tax department to muscle its way into power. And now BJP is synonymous with using Central agencies to intimidate the Opposition. This is blatant misuse of power,” he recounted the BJP’s arm-twisting tactics to stay in power.
90 Days Set Aside To Prepare For Battle, Says Ashok Gehlot
In response to allegations about the Congress not being serious about elections, Gehlot shared that a period of three months, or 90 days, has been set aside to prepare for the battle.
“Under the watchful eyes of the party high command, we will strategize and deliberate on the approach. Rajasthan has a stable education, health and employment infra and we plan to use that module for Gujarat too. If voted to power, the Congress will open English medium schools in villages, work on employment generation and dispense with free treatment for the elderly. The old pension scheme will be restored,” he briefed the media.
It may be recalled that during the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, Gehlot was the GS in-charge of the Congress. The BJP managed 99 seats, seven more than the magic figure while the Congress won in 77. However, the number dwindled to 64 in the last four-and-a-half years. About 13 Congress MLAs joined the BJP shortly after Gehlot was relieved of the in-charge additional responsibility.
Condemning the recent hooch tragedy in Botad district, Gehlot said that the state government is hand-in-glove with the offenders. “How can the administration be unaware? We promise a Gujarat free of corruption and a manifesto which will take into account the people’s aspirations. The first list of candidates will be released on September 15,” he said
When asked to comment on the MLAs who wished to return to the Congress, the senior leader briefed that Gujarat in-charge Raghu Sharma is working on the matter, though the final decision rests with the party high command.