New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sartuday criticised his Assam counterpart and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for invoking Hinduism and Mughal emperors in his campaign speeches for the upcoming state elections. Gehlot accused Sarma of pleasing his political masters in the BJP and speaking more than he should.
Sarma, who was in Rajasthan on Friday and Saturday to campaign for the BJP, had asked “if not about the ‘Hindus’, should the BJP speak about “Babar and Aurangzeb? (Mughal emperors).” He also challenged Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s claim that the BJP was dragging religion and Hindutva into the poll pitch.
Responding to Sarma’s remarks, Gehlot said, “I don’t want to comment on his (Assam CM’s) statement. He is saying things to please his masters in the BJP top brass. He is raising his decibels to prove his loyalty to the BJP, as he was with us (Congress) earlier. He is speaking more than he should.”
“When we, as the incumbent party, are giving some guarantees to the people in our quest to return to power, it is the job of a responsible Opposition to respond to the same and raise questions. Instead, they are dragging religion into their campaign discourse. There is no mention of OPS (Old Pension Scheme) in their manifesto. Several other commitments that we have made are missing in their manifesto. People are laughing at them. Their campaign discourse should be built around our performance over the last 5 years in Rajasthan. There should be a post-mortem of our government. Let the people decide our fate thereafter,” Gehlot added.
Sarma, on the other hand, questioned the guarantees that the Congress was talking about and said that the people of Rajasthan were paying more for petrol and electricity than the people of Assam. “What guarantees are they going on about? In Assam, the prices of petrol are between Rs97 and Rs 98 per litre while people here are paying Rs 108 for every litre. This means that for every litre of petrol that people buy, Rs 10 goes into Ashok Gehlot’s coffers. Nowhere in the country do consumers pay more for electricity than Rajasthan. What guarantees are they talking about?” he added.
On Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement on, Gehlot, Congress’s CM face in Rajasthan, Sarma said, “The faces of our party workers are better than that of yours. All party workers of the BJP are our faces. And, our biggest face is PM Narendra Modi, who you cannot compete with.”
The Rajasthan elections will be held on November 25 and the results will be declared on December 3.