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HomePoliticsCongress Will Triumph Over BJP's Smoke and Mirrors: Ajay Rai

Congress Will Triumph Over BJP’s Smoke and Mirrors: Ajay Rai

Ajay Rai exposes BJP's desperation and accentuates Modi's falsehoods steering demand for Congress manifesto in public domain

Ajay Rai, a seasoned politician and three-time MLA representing the Kolasla assembly seat and President of UP Congress Committee, initially affiliated with the ABVP, contested elections under the BJP banner in 1996, 2002, and 2007. After a stint with the Samajwadi Party in 2009, Rai shifted his allegiance to Congress, securing victory in the 2012 assembly polls in the Pindra (formerly Kolasla) constituency. Despite subsequent defeats in the 2017 and 2022 state elections from the same seat, Rai remains the Congress candidate against Narendra Modi for the third consecutive time. Hailing from the Bhumihar community, Rai wields influence in certain regions of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

In an exclusive exchange with senior journalist Ravindra Ojha, representing The Interview World, Ajay Rai expressed optimism regarding his prospects in Kashi. Rai delved into various issues, critiquing the BJP’s unfulfilled promises, polarizing campaigns, and extravagant expenditures. Here are the highlights from his interview.

Q: What progress has been made on the Prime Minister’s promise to transform Kashi into Kyoto?

A: Kashi remains unchanged, plagued by unattended heaps of garbage, persistent potholes, and severe traffic congestion. Additionally, the low-lying areas along the Ganga and Varuna rivers face near-flood conditions during the rainy season. Despite the passage of time, nothing has improved, and the residents are acutely aware of this stagnation. For the people of Kashi, development remains a distant dream as they struggle daily for necessities.

Q: Why is Narendra Modi criticizing Rahul Gandhi and the Congress manifesto rather than highlighting his achievements from the past 10 years?

A: Throughout the campaign, it became evident that the BJP had little to show for their time in power. They did not create the promised jobs for the youth. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, they pledged to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s account, a promise they later admitted was merely a political slogan.

Modiji assured farmers their incomes would double, yet today they earn less than before. The cost of fertilizers has risen while the quantity in each sack has decreased from 50 kg to 45 kg. Consequently, the BJP resorted to spreading falsehoods about Rahulji and the Congress manifesto. This strategy, however, backfired spectacularly.

Due to the BJP’s unfounded allegations, more people are now scrutinizing our manifesto. The demand for it has surged unexpectedly. Ironically, Modi has inadvertently promoted our manifesto far more effectively than we could have with our limited resources. For that, I must thank him.

Modi misrepresented our manifesto by mentioning mangalsutras and gold, but the public read it themselves and realized his statements were false. In 2014, gold was priced at Rs 28,000 per 10 grams; now it exceeds Rs 75,000. Mangalsutras, made of gold, have become unaffordable for many people.

Rahul Gandhi has dedicated his life to serving this country and consistently speaks the truth. The people now recognize the authenticity and integrity of our message.

Q: What are the primary factors behind the Congress party’s struggle to effectively respond to Modi’s assertive campaign tactics?

A: We stand firmly committed to truthfulness, a principle we hold dear. In contrast to the deceptive practices employed by others, we remain steadfast in our dedication to honesty. Our discourse centers on the well-being of women, farmers, and the ordinary citizen, emphasizing the pursuit of justice. Within the ethos of our party lies a culture deeply rooted in truth-telling. Furthermore, we possess commendable achievements and initiatives to communicate to our constituents.

Q: How is the Congress party prioritizing its agenda in Uttar Pradesh during the national election, and what specific issues are they emphasizing?

A: The national and Uttar Pradesh-specific concerns align closely. Inflation, unemployment, and corruption weigh heavily on our collective conscience. Moreover, the rampant issue of stray animals compounds our challenges, particularly as they wreak havoc on agricultural yields. Despite the government’s establishment of cowsheds, these facilities remain largely unused.

Furthermore, a glaring irony emerges as the BJP government accepts donations from major corporations involved in beef production, including cow meat. This financial relationship raises significant questions about their commitment to cow protection. Profiting from cow meat within Uttar Pradesh contradicts their purported devotion to the cow. This revelation lays bare the extent of their duplicity.

Q: Why did the INDIA bloc struggle to organize joint rallies in Uttar Pradesh before the first phase of elections, managing only one rally before the second phase, but now, at the end of the election period, they are showing a united front with full force?

A: We lack the financial resources to match the extravagant spending of the BJP. Under the Modi government, our bank accounts have been frozen, causing undue hardship to our supporters. This oppressive tactic is regrettable, as it stifles our ability to communicate with the public effectively. In stark contrast, the BJP enjoys substantial financial backing, enabling them to manipulate commodity prices and consequently absorb a significant portion of government revenue through taxes.

Q: Is it true that the Congress struggled to find strong candidates for many of the 17 seats it is contesting in Uttar Pradesh?

A: The strength of our resolve knows no bounds, whether in Allahabad (Ujjwal Raman Singh), Varanasi, or elsewhere. I stand resolute in Varanasi, challenging Modiji for the third consecutive time despite their attempts to intimidate me; I remain steadfast like Angad. The outcome of this contest will surely defy expectations. Consider Ramnath Sikarwar, a retired army personnel, now vying for Agra’s representation. Despite financial constraints, his grassroots campaign resonates with the people. Similarly, our party’s presence in Mathura is palpable through Mukesh Dhangar’s ground-level efforts.

Ajay Rai, President of UP Congress Committee, Meeting People on a Campaign Trail
Ajay Rai, President of UP Congress Committee, Meeting People on a Campaign Trail
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