Sachin Pilot knows, shows the way in Rajasthan's Tonk
In the last round, Pilot is focusing on small meetings rather than a rally or roadshow.
Pilot has to address 13 local meetings before 5 pm while one is in Sawai Madhopur, around 70 km from Tonk. A helicopter has been parked for him at the college grounds to help him return early to Tonk. At 10.30 am, Pilot reaches Annapurna Ganesh Temple, the venue for his first meeting. A small gathering of around 500, mostly of women, have come to listen to him.
“Yesterday, CM had come here with people from outside to do a roadshow. She spoke only for 30 seconds,” he starts with these words. “She knows there is no point campaigning here as Congress is going to win with a handsome margin. I am here to tell you that on November 7 go and vote in large numbers so that Tonk creates history for the biggest margin in Rajasthan.” The crowd raises their hands in full support to Pilot. Within minutes he is back in his car for another meeting.
In the last round, Pilot is focusing on small meetings rather than a rally or roadshow. “The idea is to develop personal camaraderie,” he says. “I am their leader and they should feel that I am with them and available for them.” His personal connect is visible when he calls everyone by name in the crowd. He does another quick meeting at Krishi Mandi. Ramesh Chandra Gupta, a shop owner and BJP supporter, is thrilled by Pilot’s presence.
“No one knew about Tonk till Pilot decided to contest from here. You have come from Delhi to Tonk only because he is here. He has made Tonk famous now,” he says. “I am a BJP supporter but this election is about choosing the next CM and I will vote for Pilot. As Ajmer MP he did a lot of work. We expect similar work in Tonk.” After Krishi Mandi, Pilot reaches Ambedkar College where youngsters greet him with loud Sachin, Sachin chant. Excited by the response from the crowd, Pilot speaks for more than the scheduled time. “Don’t think about caste or community. This election is for you and your future. Give me your blessings and I shall change the face of Tonk,” he says. “The BJP person contesting against me is the PWD minister but look at the condition of roads here. There is literally no road. Vote for change.”
A group of youngsters request him for a selfie and he doesn’t disappoint them. After he is back into his car, an 18-year-old Mahi comes pleading, “I am your biggest fan. I know everything about you. Please allow me to take a selfie.” Pilot smiles and gives her water to settle down and happily clicks selfies for her. “I am a first-time voter and will vote for him. We have no jobs here and when he becomes CM he will bring industries and a girl like me can get a job,” she says.
CONGRESS WINNING MATH
This is for the first time after 1967 that Congress has fielded a Hindu candidate from Tonk and that has changed the equation. Out of 2.3 lakh voters, Muslims with 70,000 votes form the biggest chunk, followed by SCs with 50,000 votes and Gurjars with 40,000 votes. Congress thinks if all three come together it will win. However, Pilot denies any castebased analysis.