With Rahul Gandhi all set to address his first election rally in Gujarat today, Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Monday showed confidence in the party doing well in the upcoming Assembly polls stating that the people are “agitated” against the ruling BJP.
Speaking to ANI, Gehlot said, “Congress will do well in these elections because the mood of the public is against BJP for mismanaging COVID and the economy. Our party is looking at winning 125 seats and we are well on course to do that. Opposition to the BJP government this time wasn’t there the last time. People are agitated. The entire country saw the mismanagement during COVID, especially in the state which was strong even before independence.”
“There was Morbi incident. We demanded a fair probe by a sitting or retired judge of HC. But it didn’t happen. Gujarat HC took suo moto cognisance. People died due to illicit liquor. The government’s politics of gimmicks are not going to work, there will be surprising results,” he added.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over their frequent visits to the state lately, Gehlot claimed that they are doing so as the BJP is “being wiped out of Gujarat”.
“Ever since they won UP polls, PM Modi-Amit Shah started coming here (Gujarat) regularly. It means they feel BJP is being wiped out of here. What does it mean if they come here every week? Shows their weak condition. So, both of them set a camp here,” he said.
When asked about Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the election campaign in Gujarat, the Congress leader said that the former party president is giving priority to the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“We don’t need to do it. Rahul Gandhi is carrying out the yatra for every state, including Gujarat. Every household knows the issues being raised by him. It wasn’t possible for him to be here physically as he is giving priority to the yatra. He’s coming here today and will speak his mind,” he said.
He also took a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party, which is also in the fray and looking to make inroads into Gujarat, and claimed that the party’s credibility has been reduced.
“Someone should ask Kejriwal why did they suddenly withdraw the campaign from Himachal? They have just propped candidates there. Who knows if they withdraw from here too? Are they colluding with BJP? Their credibility has gone down,” he said.
Gehlot slammed the BJP over the ‘love jihad’ issue and accused the party of doing politics on with an aim to target “one community”.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. It has been given a name and ‘jumla’ has been made. Inter-caste and interfaith marriages have been taking place for a long time now. But politics is being done on the basis of the manner in which one community has been targetted,” he said.
Voting for the two-phased Gujarat Assembly elections will take place on December 1 and 5, and the counting of votes will take