Winds of change are blowing across Himachal Pradesh and come November 12, the people of the state will say "Jai Ram ji ki" to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot said on Sunday.
'Jai Ram ji ki' is an expression often used in north India while bidding farewell to someone. Addressing a public meeting in Sulah in support of Congress candidate Jagdish Sipahiya, Pilot exuded confidence that his party will form the government in Himachal Pradesh.
"You (BJP government in Himachal) cannot run away from your promise, you will have to fulfil your commitment and for not doing so, people will press the button in front of the 'hand' symbol on the EVM machine. The Congress will form the government with a huge mandate," Pilot said to loud cheers.
He also addressed a public gathering in Palampur in favour of the Congress' Ashish Butail. Speaking with reporters while on the campaign trail in the hill state, the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said that had the Thakur-led government carried out welfare work, people would have voted on the development agenda.
But because there is huge resentment against the BJP rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have had to campaign extensively in the small state, he said.
"The work of the government is something people are unhappy with. There has been huge corruption, paper leaks, financial impropriety and misgovernance. Winds of change are blowing all over the state. That is why the prime minister and home minister have to come daily. They would not have to come if their work would have spoken," Pilot said.
"People of Himachal are going to say 'Jai Ram ji ki' to Thakur sahab on November 12," he said. Pilot said people are looking for a change and the Congress has been able to capture their imagination with promises such as monthly allowance of Rs 1,500 for women, free 300 units of electricity, government jobs and restoration of the Old Pension Scheme.
The Congress leader also claimed that the BJP is facing infighting within its state unit and rebel candidates, and that is why the top leadership is so "worried" that they have to come and campaign every day, even though it is a small state. The Congress is banking on the anti-incumbency factor and urging voters not to re-elect the BJP in the state in the November 12 Assembly elections.
(With PTI Inputs)