Presidents of Rajasthan Congress and BJP units have taken vows, which might appear a bit strange to many, to see to it that their parties emerge victorious in assembly elections due by the year-end.

State Congress chief Sachin Pilot had vowed in 2014 that he would not wear a turban until his party was voted to power.

Newly appointed state BJP president Madan Lal Saini recently took a vow, coincidentally in Pilot’s constituency Ajmer, not to visit his house in Sikar until the party achieves its target of 180 seats in the 200-seat assembly.

“I had been a full-time worker of the Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh. For the past many years I used to leave for Jaipur after having food at home, travelling in bus for two-and-a-half hours; I was returning home by bus in the evening. The five-hour travel time was of no use,” Saini said.

“I have decided now to stay at the party office and plan movement from here, and not to go home till the party forms government in the state and at the Centre.”

He added, “There will be 1% chance to stay back at home if I am on a visit to districts, such as Bikaner and Churu. My wife is near my age and falls ill; then that’s a different thing, but otherwise I will not go home.”

Pilot, while re-launching state-level Congress membership campaign in August 2014, had said he would not wear a turban till the party forms government in Rajasthan. “Congress has seen ups and downs and now will play the role of an effective opposition. I do not feel justified to wear a turban till the time party comes to power for public service,” he had said.

Pilot reiterated his vow in October 2017 during ‘Kisan Nyay Padyatra’. “Sometime in August 2014, I took a resolution that I won’t wear Rajasthani safa until the Congress forms government again in the state. After severe defeat of the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, in which the BJP had won all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, I felt badly hurt,” he said.

“My resolve is not for any personal gain and it does not mean that I want to acquire any position; it is my promise to myself for success of the Congress in Rajasthan.” Buoyed by victory in three by-elections held this year, the Congress is vying to return to power in assembly elections. The party had also performed better than the BJP in local body elections last year. The Congress is now galvanising party workers and connecting with voters under ‘Mera Booth Mera Gaurav’ programmes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed around 2.5 lakh beneficiaries in Jaipur on Saturday, informally launching the BJP’s election campaign in Rajasthan. Providing a booster shot to the ruling BJP, Modi laid the foundation stone for 13 urban infrastructure projects with a total outlay of Rs 2100 crore.

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