JAIPUR: With Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot away in New Delhi, his deputy, Sachin Pilot put on his walking shoes and traversed the villages in Jalore-Sirohi and Pali districts, trying to re-connect with the people after the Lok Sabha loss.
“Pilot will be ‘listening to the people’ on his two-day tour and ‘engage them’ to find solutions to their problems. He would also be living and resting in villages overnight with masses, instead of using government guest houses or hotels along the way,” said one of his aides.
The tour comes in the wake of the Congress’s demolition in the Lok Sabha polls, losing all 25 seats to the BJP, despite holding power in the state. The trip also helped him to get away from a controversy that has erupted within the Congress pertaining to lack of coordination between him and Gehlot.
Pilot interacted with people at Tonk even as he heard people and ground leaders on their thoughts on the Congress’ failure.
He then chose Kachela village of Jalore to spend Sunday night at farmer Jaikishan’s house where he had his dinner, too. Having brushed his teeth with a neem stick and having shaves, Pilot had a breakfast of Ker Sangri vegetable, buttermilk, rabri and bajra roti.
His officers too stayed at the farm.
Pilot had relived a similar experience in the same village two years back when he had spent the night.
“Winning and losing is a part of political life but I had promised, as a leader of Congress, that we will go to the masses and take our programs to the public. We will take the blessings of the people and work responsibly to fulfill all expectations,” Pilot told people at Jalore.
He reviewed the work done under MNREGA in Bhinmal town of Jalore, while inquiring of various projects from officers, identifying the lacunae on each and advising on what should be done to meet the targets.
Pilot’s approach may have helped differentiate himself from the CM who was in Delhi to meet Bhupinder Hooda and Anand Sharma on a day when party president Rahul Gandhi was in Wayanad. Gehlot, sources said, wanted to prise some time to meet the party president who has been elusive.
‘He has ears to the ground’
“He came here even when he was in the Opposition. He has come also when he is in government. That makes people happy. That helps. He is a leader with his ears to the ground,” said Sarpanch Bhakra Ram of Khalecha village.