Gurjar community has made 'ghar wapsi' to BJP as Cong 'betrayed' Pilot: Rajasthan BJP MP
Sawai Madhopur, Nov 18 (PTI) BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena has claimed that the Gurjar community in Rajasthan has made a “ghar wapsi (homecoming)” to the BJP as its “big leader” Sachin Pilot was betrayed by the Congress and not made the chief minister.
Meena, the BJP candidate from Sawai Madhopur taking on sitting Congress MLA Danish Abrar, also claimed that the Gurjar community was feeling “insulted” as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had hurled abuses at Pilot.
The Rajya Sabha MP, who has been at the forefront of the BJP's campaign alleging graft charges against the Gehlot government over issues such as examination paper leaks, also slammed the Congress for what he claimed was “unprecedented corruption” during its tenure in Rajasthan.
“Corruption has increased to such levels that you would not have heard that Rs 2.30 crore in cash is found in a government office and 1 kg gold is being found in almirahs. This is unprecedented and has not happened anywhere in the country. Officers along with politicians have looted the state and collected a lot of black money,” Meena alleged.
In an interview with PTI, Meena also dismissed the Congress' charge that the BJP-led central government had misused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other government agencies for political purposes.
“There have been 16 examinations and all papers have been leaked (in Rajasthan). I have given evidence for the scam in Jal Jeevan Mission (in the state), I have given evidence for scam in mining… and of corruption in the Gehlot government. I had demanded a CBI probe into these matters.
'The government did not get a CBI probe done, so there was only one way that action should be taken under the PMLA against the black money collected and it is the ED which takes action under the PMLA,” Meena said.
“ED had taken action even before the polls. If you are not a thief, why are you scared and why are you creating a hue and cry? There is no political angle to this,” he said, hitting out at the Congress. Meena claimed that he went to Jaipur's Ganpati Plaza where there are 1,100 lockers with black money and “till now Rs 36 crore and 22 kg gold have been found by the Income Tax Department.” “So I only draw the attention of the government, be it the state or the central government,” he said and cited the examples of the arrests of Rajasthan Public Service Commission member Babulal Katara, president of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) being removed and four people of the Rajiv Gandhi Study Circle arrested, to dismiss the political vendetta charge of the Congress.
“You caught the fishes but not the crocodiles, and that is why we had to go to the ED,” Meena said.
Asked about his recent remarks that the Gurjar community will vote for the BJP in Rajasthan, Meena said he said so “because a big leader of the Gurjar Samaj (Sachin) Pilot was given the assurance of being made CM by them (the Congress) the last time but he was betrayed.” “The Rajasthan chief minister called him a 'traitor', 'nakara', 'nikamma'. Which abuse had Gehlot not hurled at Sachin Pilot? That is why the Gurjar community is feeling insulted and is largely going to vote for the BJP,” the 72-year-old BJP veteran said.
Traditionally, the Gurjar community has sided with the BJP as its 'mindset' was aligned with the party but it went with Pilot in the hope that one of their own would become the CM, Meena said. “He (Pilot) did not become the CM and was betrayed, so the Gurjar samaj made a ghar wapsi and is voting for the BJP,” he claimed.
On Pilot raising corruption issues against the previous Vasundhara Raje government, Meena said the allegations against the former chief minister were not appropriate.
The court also quashed the allegations, calling them baseless, he said. “The allegations I made (against the Gehlot government) are substantiated by evidence and in one of them, the court also took cognisance. So Pilot sahab made a half-hearted effort which did not have any substance,” Meena claimed.
Kirodi Lal Meena also dismissed the challenge posed by BJP rebel Asha Meena, who is contesting here as an independent candidate and alleged that she was doing so at the behest of Chief Minister Gehlot.
“The rebel candidate you are mentioning is nowhere in the contest. She has been fielded as part of a conspiracy to mislead people of the scheduled tribe (ST) community but 90 per cent of the ST votes are with me,” Kirodi Lal Meena said.
“She (Asha) does not have votes, only has money. So she is planting paid news to create a buzz… she has already been expelled from the party,” he said.
Kirodi Lal Meena alleged she was contesting as part of a “conspiracy” by Gehlot.
“Gehlot's close person is Kunji Lal Meena who is her brother-in-law and it is their joint conspiracy... her contesting makes no difference and she cannot cause any damage,” Meena asserted.
On the question of the BJP asking him to contest the Assembly polls, the Rajya Sabha MP said it was the party's decision, and he was among the seven MPs fielded in Rajasthan.
“This is not a new strategy. Wherever a worker can win (party fields that person), the party has therefore sent me here,” he said.
Asked if a Meena could be the CM, he asserted that in the BJP, chief ministers are not made on the basis of caste.
“For me, a person who has grown up in shakhas, it is not about working for yourself but for the society and the country. The objective of our path is not a post, but to strengthen the country,” he said.
On whether he was among the CM probables of the BJP, Meena said, “I am out of the list. I am 72 and on the verge of retiring.” Asked if former chief minister Vasudhara Raje was the frontrunner to be the CM if the BJP wins, Meena said, “I cannot say, it is the parliamentary board that decides or the opinion of MLAs is taken and that time has not come.” “I don't think the party is fighting the polls with any person in mind, there is just one face which is of Narendra Modi,” he asserted.
Meena, known by monikers such as “Doctor Sahab” and “Baba,” was first elected to the Assembly from Mahwa in Dausa district in 1985 on a BJP ticket.
Meena was a Cabinet minister in the Raje government between 2003 and 2008. He left the BJP in 2008 over 'differences' with her. In March 2018, he returned to the BJP and the party then sent him to the Rajya Sabha.
In recent times, Meena has been consistently holding press conferences and making 'revelations' about issues such as government recruitment examination question paper leaks, which the BJP leader claims to have happened with the complicity of Congress leaders.
Rajasthan goes to polls on November 25 and the results will be declared on December 3. PTI ASK MNK MNK MNK
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