No anti-incumbency, Congress will form govt in Rajasthan again claims CM Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said there is no anti-incumbency against the Congress and the party will form the government in the state again.
"There seems to be an undercurrent. Looks like the (Congress) government will be repeated," he said as voting got underway in the state.
Gehlot told PTI in Jodhpur that the Congress focused its campaign on development issues while BJP leaders, including the prime minister, home minister and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, used provocative language.
He said the BJP leaders who came from outside, including the prime minister and the Union home minister, tried to instigate people.
"The public has understood. It appears that the Congress government will come again," he reportedly said in Jodhpur.
"We made good laws for the welfare of gig workers and on right to health and brought schemes for people and gave guarantees," he said.
The Congress has given seven guarantees, or promises, to people if the party retains power in the state, including an annual honorarium of Rs 10,000 to the woman head of a family and LPG cylinders for Rs 500 to 1.05 crore families.
Citing the example of Kerala, he said that the government there was repeated based on its work for the management of the coronavirus pandemic and in Rajasthan also, the Congress government did excellent work on this front.
Asked why the BJP was targeting only him over various issues such as the "red diary", he said BJP leaders are upset that they could not topple his government despite indulging in horse-trading. A sacked minister had claimed that the "red diary" contained financial dealings of the chief minister.
"They are bringing down elected governments through horse-trading. The method they have adopted is a matter of concern for democracy. We tried our best in Rajasthan and did not let the government fall. The public was with us," Gehlot said.
The chief minister said the language the BJP leaders used was unacceptable.
"They were talking provocatively. We challenged them to talk on local issues, talk on our schemes," he said.
Asked whether he will be the chief minister if the Congress forms the government again, he said that it is a tradition in the Congress that the AICC sends observers to take opinion of MLAs and then a resolution is passed, leaving all things for the high command and the decision of the high command is acceptable to all.
After casting his vote in Jodhpur later in the day, Gehlot told reporters, the credibility of his government was high and he feels the government will be repeated.
He said the BJP leaders who came from outside to campaign in Rajasthan will not be seen here for five years.
"This is not the election of Modi. This is the state assembly elections. They will not be seen in the state for five years. We will remain here, among the people," he said.
He was reacting to a question on the BJP's election campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Expressing confidence about retaining power, he said, "The kind of atmosphere that is there, I can say that the Congress government will come again."
The chief minister's son and Rajasthan Cricket Association president Vaibhav Gehlot said the seven guarantees promised by the Congress to the people of Rajasthan will turn out to be a masterstroke.
He also said the allegations against his father regarding the "red diary" were "fabricated".
"The seven guarantees will prove to be a masterstroke for the Congress," Vaibhav Gehlot told reporters in Jodhpur before going to cast his vote.
Asked whether his father will become the chief minister for a fourth time if the party retains power, he said it is for the party high command to take a decision on it.
He asserted that all leaders in the Congress were united.
Polling began Saturday morning for the 199 assembly seats in Rajasthan where the BJP is going all out to wrest power from the Congress which hopes to beat the state's anti-incumbency tradition.
Rajasthan has a total of 200 assembly seats but polling will be held on 199 seats as election in Karanpur of Sriganganagar district was postponed following the death of Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Koonar.