'Jumlebaazi' won't work, Sachin Pilot targets BJP post-bypolls win

Pilot said that the 'so-called pro-farmer budget' reflects agrarian distress and BJP will pay a heavy price for it.

New Delhi: The recent Congress victory in key bypolls in Rajasthan has busted the "myth" of the BJP being an election-winning machine and sent out a message that its "jumlebaazi" (rhetoric) will not work, party state unit chief Sachin Pilot said on Sunday.

Pilot, who campaigned intensely and worked at the grass-roots level for the two Lok Sabha constituencies and one Assembly seat, said the outcome would also have a bearing on the upcoming polls in other states, including Karnataka.

He said the results had come at a time when the BJP was on the "back foot".

"The fact that they were forced to make a so-called pro-farmer budget shows that the agrarian distress all over India is having its impact and the BJP will have to pay a heavy price for it," Pilot said in New Delhi.

The Congress put up a strong performance in Rajasthan where its candidates wrested the Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha and Mandalgarh Assembly seats from the BJP by impressive margins last week.

Also read: People of Rajasthan have rejected Vasundhara Raje's govt: Sachin Pilot

Pilot, who is largely seen as the Congress's chief ministerial face in Rajasthan, said the elections were "very crucial" as they came just seven or eight months before Assembly polls in the state.

"These by-elections are a very positive indication for the times to come, and not just in Rajasthan but in other states also. I think it will have a good bearing on the Karnataka polls that are coming up," the 40-year-old leader said, adding the myth that the BJP was an election-winning machine had been busted.

Noting that bypolls have historically been won in the state by the ruling dispensation, Pilot said the mandate that the Congress received was not just a rejection of the Vasundhara Raje government but an approval of the Congress's stand on various issues and policies.

"The myth that the BJP is an election-winning machine and cannot be defeated at the hustings at the booth level, that myth has been put to rest now," he said.

"The whole pracharak, vistarak and the booth management... take pride in saying that they are the best apparently...(It) has now been proven that we can defeat them if the Congress party workers work with zeal," Pilot said.

Also read: Rajasthan bypolls: Cong wins 3 seats, major blow to BJP before 2019 LS elections

Asked if the mandate was against the Raje government or the BJP-led government at the Centre, Pilot said, "You cannot segregate. This is a mandate against the BJP."

"Governance has failed in Rajasthan. But the larger BJP policies of the GST, 'notebandi' (demonetisation)... have had their impact," he said.

"There is a message also for the BJP that four years of jumlebaazi, of creating so many crore jobs, depositing Rs 15 lakh in each account etc will not work. That has also been very clearly indicated in the elections," Pilot said.

Asked whether the Congress would name a chief ministerial candidate before the polls in Rajasthan, Pilot said, "We as a party have traditionally not done this. The BJP takes pride in doing this but has not done it in Rajasthan."

"In our party, the elected MLAs and the leadership will decide who will form the government. The singular job at our hand is to win the state elections. Collective efforts of all leaders are towards that," he said.

Also read: Budget will uplift Dalits, farmers, tribals, says PM Modi

He also asserted that there was no factionalism in the state unit of the party and all leaders were united in their objective of defeating the BJP in Rajasthan.

The margin of victory registered by the Congress had been striking with its candidate Karan Singh Yadav trouncing his nearest BJP rival Jaswant Yadav by 1,96,496 votes in Alwar, and the main opposition party's nominee for Ajmer Raghu Sharma beating BJP's Swaroop Lamba by over 84,414 votes.

The Congress's Vivek Dhakad won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat, defeating his nearest BJP rival Shakti Singh Hada by nearly 13,000 votes.

Pilot alleged the BJP attempted to polarise the polls and divert the campaign discourse from the main issues.

"I must salute the people of Rajasthan that they did not allow this communal and venomous politics to take centre-stage... The BJP's desperate attempt at the fag end to communalise (the bypolls) came a cropper," Pilot said.

He pointed out there were eight Assembly segments in each parliamentary seat and the Congress won all the eight in Alwar and in Ajmer.

"So it shows that even the urban centres where we were not so strong conventionally, those people -- the middle class, young people -- have come strongly in the Congress's fold," Pilot said.

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