Opposition Congress is upbeat after results of the panchayat by-elections in Rajasthan showed the party winning 13 of 26 seats that went to polls.
The ruling BJP won 12 seats and an Independent candidate won the Balotra seat in Barmer unopposed. While results for 25 seats were declared on Monday, the Barmer result came on Wednesday.
State BJP president Ashok Parnami, however, pointed out that his party had retained all its seats and that the people are happy with the state government’s work.
While the BJP and the Congress shared two zila parishad seats in Pratapgarh, the parties won 11 and 12 seats, respectively, in the bypolls to elect 24 panchayat samiti members. Panchayat samiti polls were held in Alwar, Baran, Barmer, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Sawai Madhopur, Sirohi, Sriganganagar and Udaipur districts.
An upbeat state Congress president Sachin Pilot said the results reflect the BJP government’s anti-farmer policies in the state. He said the BJP had made several promises before and since the Assembly elections, in December 2013, but has in effect misled the people after coming to power. “The BJP government’s policies have broken the back of people. Prices of petrol and diesel have seen an unprecedented rise while demonetisation and GST have badly affected not only farmers but even small businesses,” Pilot said.
The BJP’s Parnami said people have rejected the Congress, and exuded confidence that the BJP will win the upcoming by-elections in the state.
Bypolls to the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats and Mandalgarh Assembly constituency are coming up, after the death of the sitting MPs and a legislator.
Cong padyatra for farm loan waiver
The Rajasthan unit of the Congress on Wednesday announced that a 100-km padyatra from October 3-6 to demand complete waiver of farm loans. “Seventy-five farmers have committed suicide under the incumbent government, most of whom are from the Hadoti region,” state Congress chief Sachin Pilot said.
Hadoti, in southwest Rajasthan abutting Madhya Pradesh, comprises Bundi, Kota, Baran and Jhalawar districts.
Pilot, who will lead the march, said the UPA government had waived Rs 72,000 crore worth of farmers’ debts across the country but the Narendra Modi government has instead adopted a state-wise waiver of debt.
The padyatra will begin in Bundi district and end in adjacent Jhalawar, from where Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is an MLA (from Jhalrapatan Assembly constituency).