Gehlot, Pilot seen together for first time since tussle leading Congress protests against farm laws in Jaipur
Express News Service
JAIPUR: Congress workers in Rajasthan led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot staged a dharna at Jaipur’s Shaheed Smarak on Sunday demanding the repeal of new agriculture laws.
The dharna was also organised to protest against Governor Kalraj Mishra failing to forward the three amendment bills passed by the state assembly to counter the Centre’s farm laws to President Ramnath Kovind for approval.
As the Rajasthan Congress launched an all-out agitation against the farm laws, it also became the first time since the Gehlot-Pilot tussle erupted in July-August last year that both the leaders were seen together at a public protest meet.
Addressing the meeting, CM Gehlot lashed out at the Modi government which he called ‘an irresponsible and insensitive’ government.
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Gehlot asserted, “for the past 39 days farmers have been sitting out in the open in this biting cold and 36 farmers have died during this agitation. But the Modi government has crossed all limits of insensitivity and is refusing to listen to the demands of farmers.”
Hitting out at the Centre, Gehlot added, “people who were nothing more than stooges of the British are asking us to account for the past 70 years.
They want to turn India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ but we will not let that happen. Just as Americans have thrown out Trump, people in India will soon throw out this cruel government.”
Speaking on this occasion, Sachin Pilot made a sharp attack on the BJP and RSS brand of nationalism. “Standing with farmers is real nationalism. Just wearing knickers and giving lectures from Nagpur is not nationalism,” Pilot asserted to much applause from the gathering.
In addition, Pilot stated, “they are making false allegations that we are playing politics over the farm laws. But if supporting farmers is considered politics, we will definitely play politics to help farmers.”
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Besides Gehlot and Pilot, all ministers of the Rajasthan government, Congress MLAs and Congress workers participated in this Dharna in large numbers despite Covid-19 restrictions.
The Rajasthan Congress will also launch a week-long ‘Kisan Bachao-Desh Bachao’ campaign on Tuesday under which ministers, party workers and public representatives will visit villages in the state demanding the rollback of the three contentious farm laws.
To bridge the rift within the party, CM Gehlot has invited all Congress MLAs for dinner on Sunday night in which Pilot loyalists are also likely to be present.
The ‘Kisan Bachao-Desh Bachao’ campaign could not only help to support protesting farmers but may also help to patch up the divide between the Gehlot and Pilot factions of the Rajasthan Congress.