Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday blamed Covid-19 for the party’s loss in the panchayat polls, saying the results were not as per the Congress’ expectations
JAIPUR – The ruling Congress has suffered two massive defeats in Rajasthan within two years of forming the government. First, the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in May 2019 when it lost all the 25 seats in the state. And second, the defeat in the panchayat polls the results of which were announced on Wednesday.
Surprisingly, nepotism and infighting have again been quoted as the reasons for Congress’ defeat in the panchayat polls, which were earlier cited for the party’s massive loss in the Lok Sabha last year.
In the recently held panchayat polls, the BJP won 353 seats in zila parishad polls out of the 636 seats in 21 districts, while the Congress managed 252 seats. In the panchayat samiti polls, the BJP won 1,989 seats while the Congress managed 1,852 seats.
A senior Congress worker told IANS, “The local elections were held in 21 districts and over two crore voters cast their votes. Hence, these can’t be termed as small elections. Things have not changed since the Lok Sabha polls as nepotism and infighting have again been cited as the reasons for the loss in the local polls.”
He said that the MLAs were given a free hand to distribute tickets and take all mileage, but they distributed tickets to their relatives.
“The grassroots workers were left demotivated and they were nowhere on the ground to lure the voters. Similar story was seen during the Lok Sabha polls when Ashok Gehlot gave ticket to his son Vaibhav Gehlot to contest from Jodhpur. This time, Congress MLA Krishna Poonia distributed tickets to her mother-in-law and sister-in-law while cabinet minister Saleh Mohammad gave tickets to his eight family members. These are just a few numbers as many more names might come out in this perspective,” he added.
“Another reason for the loss is infighting due to which the PCC was dissolved in July this year during the political crisis in the state. Since then, it has been a one man army of PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara. The organisational structure is yet to be set up due to which there was no delegation of duties at the grassroots level. While the BJP had its three Union ministers — Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Kailash Chaudhary and Arjun Ram Meghwal — campaigning for the party, no Congress minister was seen during the campaigning,” said another Congress worker.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday blamed Covid-19 for the party’s loss in the panchayat polls, saying the results were not as per the Congress’ expectations.
Gehlot said in a statement, “The results of the district council and panchayat polls are not as per our expectation. For the past nine months, our government was involved in Covid management and our priority was to save lives and livelihoods of the people.”
“Due to coronavirus, we could not publicise our works while the opposition misled the people. But we will give a befitting reply to the opposition, considering the feedback from the people,” he added.
However, a senior worker from ex-PCC chief Sachin Pilot’s camp said that Covid cannot be shown as a reason for the poll defeat. Pilot had campaigned in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar for the Assembly polls, so it is wrong to cite Covid as the reason for the poll defeat, he said.
“We want the party to understand that this is a wake up call. We need to work as an organisation to strengthen the party at the grassroots level. We want the high command to collect reports from each and every worker so that the lapses can be removed. We have bypolls coming up in Rajmanand, Sahada and Sujangarh soon and we can’t be the losers always,” he added.
It needs to be mentioned here that Rajasthan lost three MLAs, namely Kiran Maheshwari (BJP), Master Bhanwarlal (Congress) and Kailash Trivedi (Congress) in the last two months, which necessitated the bypolls. -IANS