The era of "rani-praja" in Rajasthan is over and no amount of campaigning and propaganda will bring the BJP back to power in the state, says Congress leader Sachin Pilot in a swipe against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her 'royal' lineage.
Criss-crossing the desert state in a bid to bring the Congress back to power, Pilot said the BJP's rule in the state has seen corruption being patronised. But this would change with the assembly elections on December 7, he said.
He started his day from Jaipur, where he boarded a chopper to Raje's home turf Dholpur to address a meeting.
In Pilot's view, the BJP has touched a new low in politics by spreading negativity and false propaganda to mislead people and to cover up the failures of its government. The Congress, in contrast, has evolved a positive narrative to usher in a new era of development.
They (the BJP) were until now doing politics in the name of Ram and have now dragged in Hanuman for politics. I am also a Hanuman 'bhakt' and chant the Hanuman Chalisa, but no one imagined that BJP leaders would make such comments on Hindu gods, Pilot said.
According to Pilot, BJP leaders had ignored the plight of people and were absent in the last five years.
"No amount of campaigning will now save the BJP... The people of Rajasthan suffered immensely in five years. Today, when leaders of the BJP are coming to campaign in Rajasthan, they have no answers to questions about the plight of the people," the 41-year-old said, driving himself from the helipad to the site of the rally and acknowledging the waving crowds.
Not one of the BJP's so called stalwarts was there to share the pain and misery of farmers when they were committing suicide... when Dalits and tribals were suffering atrocities. Crimes against women increased under the rule of a woman chief minister. But in these last five years, no one came to share their pain and wipe their tears," he said.
Attacking Raje, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior, he said people were now coming to campaign but voters had made up their minds to show the door to the corrupt and inefficient state government.
When farmers in the field were shedding tears and taking the extreme step of ending their lives, the chief minister was just concerned about giving contracts of 'bajri' (gravel) and liquor to people in her palace," Pilot said.
He said more than 150 farmers had committed suicide in the state but the government was not bothered. And, instead of talking on these issues, BJP leaders were trying to cover up the Raje government's failures.
We are seeking votes not just on the corruption and inefficiency of the Vasundhara government, but on a positive narrative... Our manifesto is very clear, with no jumla or false promises. What we can do is very clearly mentioned. People have hopes from us, specially young people and farmers, Pilot said.
The BJP, on its part, has expressed confidence that it will return to power.
Addressing a rally on Monday, BJP president Amit Shah hailed development works and public welfare schemes implemented by the Vasundhara Raje government in the state. Narendra Modi-led BJP government has worked to make the country secure, he added.
Pilot, a two-time MP, has been tirelessly holding rallies and campaigning in various constituencies of the state, apart from Tonk where he is contesting his first assembly election.
I don't get much time to sleep but I manage to take a nap in the chopper, he said.
From Dholpur, Pilot moved to Kemri village in Todabhim constituency, where he again got behind the wheel to reach the meeting venue.
We have seen so many politicians holding rallies but they come straight to the meeting ground from helipad. But Pilot not only drove the vehicle from the narrow lanes but also greeted us with smiling face," Sugar Singh, a resident of Dholpur, said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)