New Delhi, November 18
Prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hammered the Congress’ internal frictions in the state and said even a century of handshakes had not mended broken ties between two top squabbling leaders. Without naming Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy, Sachin Pilot, an ex-rebel, the PM said, “A century of handshakes in five years and yet there is no real truce. These people are walking hand in hand, feigning all is well but bitterness of hearts is still there... with elections here, they are reluctantly getting photographed together. Top leaders from Delhi come and direct these photo ops between the Chief Minister and another leader wanting to be chief minister...but hearts are not one.”
In Pilot’s bastion
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed rallies in Bharatpur, a Pilot family bastion and Nagaur, the stronghold of RLP chief and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal.
- BJP president JP Nadda also targeted the Congress during his poll rallies in Jodhpur’s Bilara and Osian seats.
The PM said the Congress intrigues and factionalism pushed Rajasthan behind in five years, as the “Dilli Durbar was busy capturing CM’s chair and he was busy saving it.” “These people left the people of Rajasthan for themselves,” Modi said in rallies in Nagaur and Bharatpur.
Nagaur is the stronghold of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief Hanuman Beniwal who defeated Jyoti Mirdha of the Congress from Nagaur Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
Mirdha is this time contesting the Nagaur assembly seat on a ticket of the BJP, which she joined recently.
Beniwal’s RLP has joined hands with Chandrashekhar Azad’s Azad Samaj Party this season to target the Jat and Scheduled Caste votes in the state. Bharatpur on the other hand is a stronghold of the Pilot family and Gujjars, a community they represent.
Sachin Pilot’s father late Rajesh Pilot had won his first Lok Sabha election from Bharatpur in 1980 defeating the queen of the state. Pilots have since held electoral sway here which explains the PM’s remarks on Pilot-Gehlot tussles.
Modi today also accused the Congress of bringing Rajasthan on top of the charts in appeasement politics, corruption and crimes.
In a veiled reference to the June 2022 daylight beheading of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal, the PM said, “The Congress can go to any length to practise vote bank politics even if it entails risking the lives of people.”
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