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I am a 'sevak', not a 'pilot': BJP candidate Yoonus Khan's poll pitch in Tonk

Press Trust of India  |  Tonk (Rajasthan) 

I am a 'sevak', not a 'pilot' -- This is how the BJP candidate is pitching himself in his electoral fight against for Tonk seat in the state assembly polls.

Khan, Transport and in the government, has been fielded by the BJP in the Muslim-dominated Tonk assembly constituency, replacing the party's sitting MLA after the gave ticket to here.

Talking to PTI while campaigning in the rural areas of Tonk, said the decision to field him was based on strategy and equations and not on his religion.

"Don't weigh this as a Hindu-Muslim fight because if you look at it from that perspective, Muslims are lesser in number in comparison to Hindus. This election is not about caste and religion," said Khan, who is widely considered as one of the most powerful ministers in the

Asked about being the lone Muslim candidate of the BJP and if his nomination marked a departure from the party's strategy to not field any candidates from the minority community, he said: "I don't know about elsewhere, but in Rajasthan, and (late BJP leader) Ramzan Khan have been fighting polls since the 80s."

Khan said he has been the party's lone Muslim candidate once earlier also.

Asked if Tonk having a large number of Muslims was one of the reasons behind his candidature, the said the election here will be on the basis of performance and agenda.

"The election will be on who can serve Tonk better. I have given my vision... As a I connected Sawai Madhopur road to a two-lane road. I have given a bypass.

"We will give this district special status and a customised package. We want to bring industry here and that will provide jobs to people. Our first priority is to bring industry and through it create jobs for youths in Tonk," the 54-year-old leader said.

He also vowed to solve the problem of drinking water faced by the residents of Tonk.

Pitching himself as an underdog in the high-stakes electoral battle, Khan took a swipe at his rival and said, "He (Pilot) has come for the first time, I have been a for long...I know the workers here."

"For Sachin ji it is a new place, people are new and apart from his dream to become an MLA and minister, he does not have any other dream. I am a people's servant. You can make me serve in Deedwana (his earlier constituency) and you can make me work in Tonk," Khan said.

Khan said was the one who has been switching constituencies, while he has been fighting from the district (under which Deedwana falls) and has come here now on the party's instructions.

"I will become MLA and that is my status, but ji is a big man, he is a 'Pilot'. I am just a sevak (servant)," Khan said.

While addressing a gathering in Chironj village, Khan again pitched himself as a of the party who is here to serve.

"I am a sevak, not a 'pilot'. Tonk also needs a sevak not a 'pilot', he said.

In another jibe at the Congress chief's surname, Khan asked the crowd: "Do you have an aeroplane. Do you have a helicopter?... No, then you don't need a pilot."

Talking to PTI, he acknowledged both he and Pilot were outsiders in Tonk, but there was one difference -- "through the power that I had in my pen (as a minister), I have given roads worth Rs 2,000 crore."

On the Congress's charge that Khan's ticket was cut from Deedwana and was finally given one from Tonk because of his religion, he said the opposition party gives statements according to its convenience.

"They cannot say that it is due to a strategy that I have been fielded. The Deedwana seat was also not declared till the last minute," Khan said.

Asked if the contest in Tonk was as keen as the one in Jhalrapatan between Minister and the Congress candidate Manvendra Singh, who was earlier with the saffron party, Khan said it was on-sided contest there and "Vasundhara ji will defeat him by about 1.25 lakh votes".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 13:25 IST