PM Modi rakes up Pilot issue again, says Congress will never form government in Rajasthan

The Congress “royal family” insulted Gujjars when it “threw out” Mr. Pilot, says PM; he adds that if the BJP comes to power, it will not stop Congress schemes, but will “close the windows of corruption”

November 23, 2023 04:10 pm | Updated November 24, 2023 02:34 am IST - Jaipur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a public meeting ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Devgarh, on November 23, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a public meeting ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Devgarh, on November 23, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Claiming that the ruling Congress in Rajasthan had thrown out Gujjar leader Sachin Pilot “like a fly in the milk”, just like the treatment meted out to his late father Rajesh Pilot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that this was a clear signal that the party was insulting the Gujjar community. “They had insulted Gujjars in the past and they are doing it even now,” Mr. Modi said.

He raked up the issue of Mr. Pilot being removed as Deputy Chief Minister in 2020 once again at a public meeting in Rajsamand’s Deogarh on the last day of the campaign for the November 25 Assembly election. He had previously accused the Congress of victimising Mr. Pilot due to rancour about his father’s challenge to the party leadership, during a rally in Bhilwara district on Wednesday.

Evoking Gujjar pride

“A Gujjar’s son struggled to make his place in politics and gave his life to the party. After coming to power, the shahi parivaar (royal family) threw him out like a fly in the milk,” Mr. Modi said, alleging that the Congress had avoided answering the questions which he had posed a day before.

“Since yesterday, the royal family is after me… Congress is lying with full force that the royal family never insulted Rajesh Pilot, but it is not answering the question I have raised,” Mr. Modi said. His reference to a “royal family” was apparently directed at Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and her children.

Mr. Pilot has since reacted to the Prime Minister’s remarks, saying that there was no need for anyone other than his party and the people to worry about him. Mr. Pilot, who was removed as Deputy CM and Pradesh Congress president after his rebellion in 2020, said that Mr. Modi’s observations were not correct and were aimed at diverting people’s attention.

‘Keep welfare, end corruption’

Mr. Modi said that the Congress would not be able to form the government in Rajasthan again because of its “dismal performance” during the last five years. “Rajasthan has never seen a more anti-women government than this regime. The State is today number one in riots, curfews, and crimes. It has reached the top in terms of corruption and paper leaks,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the BJP, if elected to power, would not stop the works of the current government, because it treated public welfare as the supreme objective. “But I am going to close the windows of corruption. The Congress government had banned all good schemes of the previous [BJP] government in 2018. We will not work with animosity. Whatever good is happening, we will take it forward,” he said.

Assuring the people of the BJP’s commitment to fulfilling its guarantees, Mr. Modi said that his party would make the State a leader in tourism, investments, and industrial development. The Prime Minister added that the upcoming Assembly election was not just about making MLAs, Ministers, and a Chief Minister, but was meant to lay a solid foundation for Rajasthan, which would contribute to the nation’s development.

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