Former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela on Tuesday called the BJP’s defeat in the three states of Hindi heartland — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — “a slap on the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies’’.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Vaghela said,” “During campaigning, Modi told people that they will be voting for “Modi” and not for local leaders like (Rajasthan CM) Vasundhara Raje or (MP CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan. That is why, the defeat is the voter’s response to Modi and his policies. This is the response of the middle classes and poor rural people who suffered the most owing to the policies of the Modi government This is neither the defeat of Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chauhan or Raman Singh, but that of Modi personally.”
“He (Modi) only gave speeches all these years. A PM is supposed to run the country, not campaign for his party on our money. The results are just a trailer. BJP and Modi will get the real taste in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when people will throw BJP out of power… UPA-III will become a reality, and I am sure that a coalition government of 20-25 parties would perform far better than this government,” Vaghela, who had quit the Congress last year, added.
“The BJP raised the issue of Ram Temple just on the eve of the Assembly polls to influence the voters. But the voters understood the BJP’s game. You cannot always fool people,” he said.
Hitting out at the government over demonetisation and GST, Vaghela said, “More than one hundred people were murdered due to demonetisation. I call it ‘murder’ because they did not commit suicide, they died standing in queues for their own money due to the demonetisation brought by the Modi government. In fact, cases of murder under section 302 of the IPC should be registered against those responsible for demonetisation.”