In an apparent rebuttal to his former deputy, Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said the Congress returned to power in 2018 because of the work done by him in his previous dispensation. He was speaking at a media brief after the Republic Day function at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Thursday.
As he said this, he set the target of winning 156 seats in the Assembly elections due later this year. In the very recent past, Sachin Pilot held that return of Congress to power was due to the hard work by party leaders and workers from 2013 to 2018, when he was the PCC chief.
Poll-bound Rajasthan is looking at Assembly elections later this year.
In one of the public programmes, Sachin Pilot also spoke about the need for the older lot to make way for the younger generation of leaders. In fact, on several occasions, Pilot has minced no words stating that the number of Congress MLAs, which had been reduced to 21 in 2013, shot up only after the party high command made him the Pradesh Congress Committee chief in the state.
The veteran leader without naming Sachin Pilot, said the 2013 rout was largely because of the “Modi wave” but within six months of the BJP government in the state, people had realised their mistake. He added: “BJP has no issues to rake up against the government. There is no anti-incumbency feeling among the people, who are happy with the schemes and programmes such as Chiranjeevi Health Insurance and revival of the Old Pension Scheme.”
“Our path is clear. When our government came in 1998, there were 156 seats, I was the PCC chief then. I would like to move ahead with ‘Mission 156’. We have already started work in that direction,” he said.
Further, the Congress senior who is known to be close to the party high command, reiterated that he enjoys support of MLAs which is why he “could tide over the political crisis in 2020.” Censuring the Opposition, he stated that BJP had mastered the art of “horse-trading.” Toppling governments could not happen in Rajasthan because as he claimed, “enjoys the support of MLAs and public.”
He harped on the fact that his popularity threatens the BJP and hence, BJP chief JP Nadda and other leaders have had to come repeatedly to Rajasthan to sound the pre-poll bugle.
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