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Situation is different, results may be shocking: Ashok Gehlot on Congress in Rajasthan

Jaipur: Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that the results for the Lok Sabha elections in his state will not reflect a clean sweep by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the political situation is changing and with each passing day, people are supporting the Congress.
"In the last two times, the election tally for the BJP-led NDA and the Congress was 25-0. Now the situation is different and people are favouring the Congress as well. I cannot say how many seats the Congress will win. But the results may be shocking. With each passsing day, people are siding in favour of the Congress," Gehlot said in an exclusive conversation with ANI on Monday.
Gehlot said that the BJP does not speak on the issues that are faced by people in the state as opposed to Rahul Gandhi or the Congress.
"Agniveer or Article 370 are their decisions. These are not issues. The main issue faced by the country is unemployment but they do not speak anything on this. The party which is in power has the duty to speak on the buring problems of the people. They should state what are their plans. There is no discussion on this. Only Rahul Gandhi, Congress and the INDIA bloc speaks on it," the former Chief Minister said.
The senior Congress leader said that instead of critiquing their party manifesto on valid facts and proposing a better alternative, the BJP has engaged in drawing a baseless parallel between the Congress manifesto and the Muslim League.
"We have released our manifesto based on the feedback we have received from people on five Nyays and 25 guarantees for farmers, labourers, women. You can speak about it or propose something better than this. Instead of that, you are saying that the manifesto is like the Muslim League. What is the need to connect both these? You can discuss and speak about its shortcomings. These are your rights...I think people have not welcomed this," Gehlot said.
Speaking on the BJP thrwarting the democratic values in the country, the senior Congress leader said, "They (BJP) don't have faith in democracy. They do not give any importance to Opposition. It is a different issue how many people are there in Opposition..."
"They are ending the very fundamentals of democracy. They have won with a full majority and now people are worried if elections will be held in the country or not. What will happen to the Constitution, will they change it? What if reservations will end? Yesterday, the Union Home Minister had to clarify in the Alwar rally that they won't end the reservation system. Why has this situation arrived that he has to give a clarification?" the former Chief Minister added.
On BJP's claim of winning more than 400 seats by its alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, Gehlot said, "It's easy to say 'Ab ki baar 400 paar', but the results will be surprising."
Hitting back at the BJP's frequent criticism on the Gandhi family in Congress, Gehlot said, "Our leaders have lost their lives. Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi lost their lives. They have sacrificed their lives to keep the country united. They allege that we are dividing the nation. Their (BJP) acts are definitely divisive in nature. They are doing politics in the name of religion in such a diverse country."
Speaking on the frequent exits from the Congress party in recent time, Gehlot said that those who have ideological determination will not be leaving the party irrespective of the fact that it is in power or not.
"A few people are leaving (Congress) out of fear of ED, CBI. A few are leaving as they are in doubt as to what will happen to the Congress. But those who are determined towards ideology, won't leave ever, whether we remain in power or not," Gehlot said.
Gehlot expressed optimism that people in the country will ultimately turn towards the Congress.
"The DNA of the country and of the Congress is the same and the country will have to look towards Congress ultimately," the former Chief Minister said.
On the BJP's remark about the seats to be contested by the Gandhi family, Gehlot said, "BJP should look into itself, there is unrest within the party. BJP shouldn't be worried about who will contest from which seat from the Congress (regarding Amethi and Raebareli)."
Explaining the mechanism of alloting seats by the Congress, Gehlot said, "These decisions are taken by the top leadership. Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others decide who will contest from which seat after discussion."
Speaking about the contributions of the Gandhi family in India's political history, Gehlot said, "What the Gandhi family has done for the country is written in history and it won't end just because of what PM Modi says. Why are they after the Gandhi family? This shows there must be some credibility."
"The country's rank and file of the Congress are united in the name of the Gandhi family. In the last thirty years, no one from the family became the Prime Minister, central Minister or the Chief Minister. They are filled with sacrifice...," he added.
The 25 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan will go to the polls in two phases. In Phase 1 of polling in the state on April 19, which is also the opening phase of the seven-phased elections, voting will be conducted for 12 seats. The remaining 13 seats in the state will be contested in the second phase on April 26.

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