With Congress not being able to win on any of the 25 seats in just concluded Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan, deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot who also is president of the Congress in Rajasthan has started exercise to connect with masses especially in rural areas with an aim to strengthen party once again in the state.
Will he succeed or not is matter of debate, but Pilot is reaching out to people. Recently he spent night in a village in Jalore district of the state in a hut in a farm field sleeping on a traditional Indian woven bed, brushing his teeth with neem stick like villagers do and eating traditional Rajasthani food made of a pearl millet (bajra) roti and some vegetables in sweltering heat of the desert state and all this to have contact and connect with people and party workers once again, which he thinks is a proper way to know about the problems and issues faced by the farmers and people living in villages.
He also held marathon meetings with officials in Jalore, Pali and Sirohi districts. ”You cannot know the problems being faced by these villagers sitting in your office…you have to spend time with them. Understand them, know about their grievances and demands and try to solve their problems,” Pilot said. “I have made it a point. I will do similar things, travel more around the state, stay in villages and spend time with people meet officials too in different districts, “Pilot said.
“He was very easily accessible for us here, otherwise meeting these political leaders is difficult after end of polls. But he was nice, mingled with us, laughed with us and gave time to us and assured to solve our problems. What more can we ask from a leader,” said Ramesh, a local villager from Kasela village in Jalore district.
On Lok Sabha polls debacle, Pilot says that the party is gathering feedback on it, but he is a firm that the party will have to go back to people, meet them, talk to them and serve them. To an extent he is right. Sitting in air-conditioned office cuts one away from the public and he most probably is the first and only leader in Rajasthan who has undertaken this sort of exercise, he is setting an example for others.
Rajasthan is likely to see by-polls on at least two assembly constituencies and panchayat and local bodies’ polls soon and Sachin Pilot understands how important it is to win in these polls. Critics term Pilot’s exercise as being late in the day as they feel that he should have done this before Lok Sabha polls. These are a photo op and PR exercise nothing more than that, they said.
But really speaking, if he carries on this manner, whatever his critics would say he would with his charisma and hard work be able to strengthen the party in the state for sure. He has proven it earlier too.
He is a hard worker and believes in mass contact. After Congress was decimated in 2013 assembly polls, it was Sachin Pilot who after becoming state president of the party took the challenge to revive party in the state, He traveled lakhs of kilometers, met party workers and devised a way to connect with voters by holding rallies, nukkad sabhas organizing agitations like matka phod against BJP government’s failure to provide clean drinking water in different parts of the state. He also held fruitful discussions with party workers both young and seniors and see what happened at the end of 2018 — the Congress party was able to come back to power in the state.
Moreover, educated in one of the world’s eminent educational institutes, Wharton, Pilot is emerging as a youth icon. He is very popular among youths and his dressing sense in being copied by many in the party. A shy guy when he was given the responsibility to revive the party in the state, he is now an aggressive and one of the best orators in the Congress and above all, is a completely different person who loves to meet people and enjoys to take feedbacks from party workers. He may sometimes be accused of running the party as a CEO but he has proven it by running it efficiently and effectively and is very innovative in making a connect with masses.