Rajasthan bypolls: People rejected BJP's misuse of power, says Pilot

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Jaipur, Sept 16: Enthused over Congress' victory in three out of four Assembly seats in Rajasthan, state party president Sachin Pilot on Tuesday said people have rejected the ruling BJP for brutal "misuse" of power. He claimed that BJP MPs and MLAs and also ministers were camping in each Assembly constituency, "misusing" government machinery and "violating" guidelines of the Election Commission.

"The bypoll results are not going to change the Government but it is a reflection of people's mood and their confidence in Congress. All these four seats were won by BJP in the 2013 Assembly elections with huge margins but they lost three seats and the winning margin on the fourth seat also came down by half which clearly tells that people of the state have rejected the governance of the BJP," Pilot told reporters here.

The former union minister said the BJP leaders thought that "voters were in their pocket and they will be able to retain the seats."

"They misused government machinery, threatened government employees to vote for their candidates and also violated election guidelines during the by-elections but people taught them lesson and showed mirror," he alleged.

"This is an eye opener for BJP government which was looking forward to discontinue public welfare schemes including free medicines scheme launched by the previous Congress government. The state government failed to fulfill promises and now they should take a lesson from the defeat," the PCC chief said.

Replying to a question, Pilot said it was for the BJP to decide who is responsible for their poor show-- Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Giving credit of Congress' performance to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, Pilot said large number of youth voted for the party which was one of the main reasons behind the "unprecedented victory" in the bypoll.

The former union minister accused the BJP of "polarising people in the name of religion" and said that terms like 'Love Jihad' was coined and religious sentiments were provoked in Uttar Pradesh but it did not work in their favour.

Pilot exuded confidence that Congress party would gain in ensuing local body elections too.

"The party was united and contested the elections with full strength. Local body elections are coming and after four years there will be Assembly elections. I believe that the party would gain in those elections too," he said.

Blaming anti-incumbency factor for BJP's drubbing, former state chief minister Ashok Gehlot said there was no Modi-wave in the state and Raje's ten months "misrule" played a significant role in ensuring Congress' victory.

"BJP was constantly making false promises in the previous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. How long would this work in a society where public was tired in just ten months of its rule in the state," Gehlot told PTI over phone, adding that people have given a befitting reply to the BJP government.

"Inflation and corruption are still rising in their rule in the state and Centre," he alleged.

Gehlot exuded confidence that public will give the "right decision in favor of Congress" next year in the civic and Panchayat election.

Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly Ramnarayan Dudi said that people expressed confidence in Congress and voted against the governance of BJP.

Meanwhile, celebrations erupted at the office of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) as enthusiastic workers burst fire-crackers and distributed sweets.

"We are enthusiastic with the results which have shown a mirror to the BJP. It is clear that there was no Modi magic," PCC spokesperson Archana Sharma said, adding, "People are not happy with the BJP governance and this is clearly reflected in the results."

Congress won Surajgarh, Weir and Nasirabad constituencies whereas the BJP could retain only Kota South seat in the by-polls.

PTI

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