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Sachin Pilot On Not Contesting Lok Sabha Polls

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Mr Pilot also spoke about the suspense over the Amethi and Rae Bareli seats.

New Delhi:

Congress leader Sachin Pilot has said the decision not to contest the Lok Sabha elections is a calculated one and, using a cricket analogy, claimed few people can score as many runs for his party as him when he enters the electoral playground. 

Answering a question at the NDTV Yuva conclave on Thursday on why he was not stepping into the electoral playground when young leaders like him could effect change, Mr Pilot said the party has taken a call after taking several factors into account and his responsibility, as the Chhattisgarh in-charge, is also an important one.

“When I step into the ground and bat, I don’t think other people can score as many runs as I do for the Congress. But people have to keep in mind what responsibility they are given when they enter the ground. As a Congress general secretary, I have been given charge of Chhattisgarh. Who contests an election, who is involved in strategy, who works for the organisation, all of these are decided differently at different times,” Mr Pilot said in Hindi.

“In 2004, I was an MP. Then I was an MLA. I was also a Union minister and a state Congress chief. So, I am carrying out the responsibilities that have been entrusted to me. The candidates that have been picked for the Lok Sabha election have been decided after a lot of thought and they are people that can win,” he added.

The senior leader said even people who are not fighting the polls have important roles to play and have to deliver, just like he has to in Chhattisgarh. 

Claiming that the Congress will win the elections, Mr Pilot said some parties are talking about things like getting more than 400 seats and that politics today is reeking of arrogance.

“There is a difference between advertisements and what is actually happening on the ground. The gulf between the rich and the poor and between cities and villages is widening. Economic policies are responsible for this,” he said. 

Asked about the suspense over the Congress strongholds of Amethi and Rae Bareli and whether Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will be contesting from there, the leader did not give a clear answer and said Mr Gandhi has been named as a candidate from the Wayanad seat in Kerala. He said the two Uttar Pradesh seats have been Congress bastions and the party will win there again. 

‘2004 Repeat’

Mr Pilot also claimed that the NDA of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time had been finished and the BJP began reviving it after the Congress and other parties formed the INDIA alliance. 

“In 2019, 65% of the votes went to parties in the INDIA alliance. So, only 35% of people supported the BJP… If the BJP is so confident, why is it inducting people from the opposition? This will be an interesting election and there will be a repeat of the 2004 polls when the opposition won despite people expecting an NDA victory,” he claimed. 



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