Congress’s Sachin Pilot today blamed the recent communal controversies in Rajasthan on the BJP, saying the party must stop “playing with people’s sentiments”.
“Rajasthan has always been a peaceful state. The people have lived in harmony and amity. We have to stop the forces that are triggering these clashes,” Mr Pilot told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
“Our friends in the opposition must understand that they should not play politics over this. They have to understand that the discourse should be on unemployment, inflation, farmers’ issues. I think they will remain unsuccessful in their efforts to divert people’s attention from these issues,” he added.
When told that there is a constituency for these sentiments too and people get emotional over these issues, Mr Pilot said, “Yes, people get emotional. But lemons are selling at Rs 300 a kilo. Cooking gas is Rs 1,000 a cylinder. Inflation has to be brought down. You cannot get votes only by playing with people’s sentiments. I do not think that will benefit the country”.
Rajasthan, where elections are due next year, has lately witnessed a string of incident with communal overtones.
The last of these took place on Wednesday, when internet was suspended in Bhilwara town amid tension over the killing of a 22-year-old Hindu man, allegedly by a Muslim, over a personal dispute. Some right-wing groups called for a bandh over the murder.
There has been communal trouble in Karauli, Alwar and Jodhpur over the last few weeks.
Asked about the Congress’s chances in the state which has never voted in the incumbent party in nearly three decades, Mr Pilot said, “We want to break that tradition now. Not just in Rajasthan, but also in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh” — states where the Congress had formed government in 2018.
Asked how the Congress will achieve it, Mr Pilot said, “This has to be done. Because in the last (such) elections, we survived only on 20 seats. This time we have done good work. I don’t mind saying that if we can take everyone along and go out among the people, we will definitely win”.