By Amit Cowper
Ahmedabad, April 6 (IANS) The Congress does not need to project a prime ministerial candidate, says the party’s Gujarat affairs In-charge Rajeev Satav, claiming that the people have seen through “jumlebaazi” of this government and are fed up.
“When we contested the State Assembly elections recently and formed Congress Governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, we never projected a face for the chief minister’s post,” Satav told IANS in an exclusive interview here.
Rajeev Satav, 45, is a Congress’ Lok Sabha MP from Hingoli in Maharashtra. As a party General Secretary, he is the party’s Gujarat affairs In-charge since 2017.
He said, “The people of India are fed up with jumlebaazee, false promises, joblessness, inflation and know by now that the Congress is the only answer to all these issues. So we don’t think that we need to project our prime ministerial candidate.”
When asked if his party’s governments had filled up government posts in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, Satav said the process for this had already started. “The recruitment will start within three months. We believe in delivering and not just giving false promises,” he claimed.
The question was in reference to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s announcement in the party’s 2019 manifesto that a Congress government would fill up 22 lakh government vacancies across the country.
Satav insisted the party was not unnerved when pointed out that several Congress legislators, including some senior ones, had deserted the party and defected to the BJP during less than two years.
He asserted, “The people are voting not for leaders, but the Congress party. Before the Rajya Sabha election (of veteran leader Ahmed Patel) in 2017, around 14 to 15 Congress MLAs defected and voted against Congress candidate Ahmed Patel. Look at them? Where are they now? Out of those 14 to 15, probably two have retained their status as MLAs, while all the others are sitting at home. The people of Gujarat have shown them the way.”
“Even in the Bhagwanbhai Barad case, what result came out. The Supreme Court slapped the BJP on its face. Where all the state machinery was used against him, the judiciary showed them the truth. So ultimately it was the Congress’s win and the peoples win.”
Congress MLA Barad was disqualified by the State Assembly Speaker within no time of a court pronouncing him guilty in a 1995 illegal mining case, though allowing him room to approach the higher courts. But Speaker Rajendra Trivedi did not wait while the Election Commission declared a by-election in Barad’s constituency Talala in Saurashtra region, which was subsequently stayed by the Supreme Court.