JAIPUR: Back in Rajasthan after a five-day gap to lead his party’s Assembly election campaign, BJP president Amit Shah set out to appease OBCs, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe voters on Sunday.
Addressing an OBC public meeting in Pali, attended by 750 party workers, Shah accused the Congress of not doing enough for the backward classes.
“The Congress hasn’t done anything in 70 years for the backward classes. But as soon as a poor tea seller became the Prime Minister, OBC Commission was given constitutional status. BJP is the party that is concerned about you, not the Congress,” he said.
Shah said the BJP was not the party of any one caste or community. “Prime minister Narendra Modi says the mantra for development is sabka sath sabka vikas,” he said, adding that the BJP had never been branded as a party of a particular community and was the party of all.
Later in the evening, Shah reached Jodhpur and visited the temple of Baba Ramdev, a local deity who has a huge following amongst Rajput and backward communities, at Masuria.
Attacking the Opposition ‘grand alliance’, he said it was not serious about tackling poverty, unemployment and corruption and its sole agenda was to remove Modi. “Modi Modi Modi. He's a phobia for them,” he said.
Shah began his tour of the state from Pali district in Marwar region, where the BJP is facing major challenges from outside and inside. Party MLA, Manvendra Singh, who is the son of former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh, has announced a ‘self-respect yatra’ from September 22, which is being seen as a counter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra. Marwar is also considered to be a bastion of Congress veteran Ashok Gehlot.
Shah will cover three major divisions — Jodhpur, Ajmer and Udaipur — till September 20. Monday will see him touring Bhilwada district in Ajmer and on Tuesday he will head to Nagur district, where he is scheduled to address farmers, comprising mainly Jats, who decide the poll outcome on 35 out of 200 seats in the state.
From Nagaur, the BJP chief will go to tribal dominated Mewar region, which has mostly reserved seats and participate in an ST convention on Wednesday. He will address the ST community in other tribal-dominated areas like Kaurali and Gangapur on September 22.
He will tour SC-dominated Bikaner, Hanumangrah and Sriganganagar districts next month.