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While there has been a chill in Rajasthan’s weather with the onset of winter, the state’s political temperature soared on November 19, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing election rallies in the state.

Modi, while campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jhunjhuna, took a stinging jibe at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, alleging that the Congress leaders “were looting money” during his tenure at the helm of the state government over the last five years.

“In a public address, CM Gehlot accepted that his MLAs and candidates did not do any work in the last 5 years. This is because in Rajasthan, there was a game of ‘Jaadugar’ and Baazigar’ going on. In the meanwhile, Congress leaders were busy looting money…The Congress has destroyed Rajasthan. Should they come back to power here?” news agency ANI quoted Modi as saying. ‘Jaadugar’, notably, is a term used in reference to Gehlot by some of his supporters.

Apart from attacking the incumbent Congress government in the state, Modi said that the Centre has taken measures to bring down the rates of medicines in Rajasthan, and other parts of the country.

“Today, crores of people are getting free healthcare services. At Jan Aushadhi centres, medicines are being given at a discount of 80 percent. A medicine worth 100 is available at 20. Because of this, a total of 1.25 lakh crores of the poor have been saved,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi told a gathering of Congress supporters and workers in Dausa that the party is fighting a battle to prevent the country from becoming an “India of Adani”.

“We do not want India of Adani,” Gandhi stated, adding that the focus of the Congress would remain on improving the lives of the poor and the middle class.

“Congress will transfer 10,000 per year in the bank accounts of women of Rajasthan…Cylinders will be worth 500 once the Congress government is formed,” he said.

“We have made English schools in the whole of Rajasthan. PM Narendra Modi cancelled the Old Pension Scheme. We have implemented it in Rajasthan. Lakhs of people have benefited from it,” the senior Congress leader added.

Gandhi, who has been promising a caste-based census in all the poll-bound states, raised the issue again during his rally in Dausa.

“PM Narendra Modi says that there is no caste; there are only poor. When the time came to give rights, then there is no caste. When it is time to promote fighting, then there are OBCs and Dalits,” he said.

The 200 seats of Rajasthan will be contested in a single-phase election on November 25. The counting of votes has been scheduled by the Election Commission on December 3.

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Updated: 19 Nov 2023, 03:32 PM IST

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