The Rajasthan Chief Minister has pledged to secure a larger victory for the Congress party in the upcoming state assembly elections in Rajasthan, as compared to Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. This commitment came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi suggested that the contest in Rajasthan would be "very close" in the forthcoming polls.
The chief minister noted that Rahul Gandhi had set a challenge, one that Rajasthan is prepared to meet.
"We will show him that Rajasthan will surpass Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the party's victory," Gehlot asserted.
Before addressing a rally in Jodhpur on Monday, Gehlot laid the foundation stones for various projects worth Rs 582 crore. He also inaugurated an office for the advocate general at the high court, constructed at Rs 22.50 crore.
In his speech, the chief minister also touched upon a "scandal involving a central minister," referring to the criminal defamation lawsuit filed by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Further discussing the Sanjeevani Credit Cooperative Society scam, Gehlot stated that he was facing a court case and was prepared to go to jail if it would help "the poor depositors get their money."
He went on to say that he was ready to assist the depositors in recovering their money. "This is such a task that everyone should come forward, setting politics aside," the chief minister added.
Gehlot had previously accused Shekhawat of involvement in the scam, an allegation the union minister has denied. In response, Shekhawat filed a criminal defamation lawsuit against the Rajasthan chief minister over the public remarks. The court case is currently in progress.
Gehlot also dismissed animosity towards the union minister, stating that he has never harboured ill will against anyone.
"I never ever had any ill-will against anyone in my life. Why would I hold it against him? People approached me because I am the chief minister and also the home minister. They had tears in their eyes. I inquired about the issue and then took it up," Gehlot elaborated.
On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rallied in Jaipur, marking the end of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Parivartan Sankalp Yatra in the state. The Prime Minister criticised Gehlot, asserting that he had squandered five years of Rajasthan's youth and gave the Congress-led state government "zero marks."
Both parties have yet to announce their respective candidates for the state assembly elections, expected to be held in Rajasthan later this year.
(With agency inputs)
(With agency inputs)