‘Trouble is that the narrative has changed’

Ambika Shaligram
Friday, 25 January 2019

After having sculpted Congress Party’s success in the recently concluded assembly elections in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, the 41-year-old Deputy Chief Minister, preferred to talk on his plans for job creation in the state, focusing on skilling, and also pushing for labour intensive programmes - rather than talking about his party’s role to ‘out Hindu BJP’.

Jaipur:  After having sculpted Congress Party’s success in the recently concluded assembly elections in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, the 41-year-old Deputy Chief Minister, preferred to talk on his plans for job creation in the state, focusing on skilling, and also pushing for labour intensive programmes - rather than talking about his party’s role to ‘out Hindu BJP’.

Pilot, who attended the 12th edition of Zee Jaipur Literature Festival at Diggi Palace on Thursday, was in conversation with senior broadcast journalist Sreenivasan Jain on ‘Democracy, Freedom and the Political Process: Looking to the Future’.
 
After fielding questions on Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra’s recent appointment as General Secretary of the Congress and what it means for dynasty politics, and whether that means Priyanka ‘s brother and the incumbent Congress Party President, Rahul Gandhi has ‘failed’ and why the party leaders are doing ‘puja’ at temples, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “What does it mean to ‘Out Hindu BJP’? I will tell you what happened at the puja in Pushkar temple, Gandhi was asked by the priest about his gotra and he mentioned it. It was as simple as that. Why did the media make a big issue out of it? He answered the question and there was trouble over it. If he hadn’t, then the media would still have created trouble.”
“The trouble is that the narrative has changed. Why aren’t we talking of Doklam, Vijay Mallya or Nirav Modi? Why aren’t we talking about job creations and development?,” he asked. 

Speaking on his vision for rural development and creating a skilled workforce, Pilot said, “We have to have strong fiscal policy, create a good eco-system for infrastructure development. Next, on our agenda is skilling. Often, what we are taught in schools and colleges isn’t commensurate with what the corporate world demands. So there has to be a meeting of minds between academicians and recruiters/corporate world.” 

I will also push for labour intensive industry like mining, tourism, garments and so on. There is lot of backlog in job appointments, we have to clear that.”

When it was pointed out by Jain that labour intensive industry is going in opposite direction to the prevailing trends, the minister said, “I know the focus is on Artificial Intelligence and information technology. But medium scale industries can always co-exist with it. You can always have demand for medium scale industries. This shouldn’t be an ‘either or’ case. It shouldn’t be binary case.

Earlier, speaking on Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment, he said, “She is not occupying an office of profit. Her position strengthens the party. I think she deserves a chance and, let’s not be judgemental about it.”

Addressing the issue of dynasty politics, he said, “My last name alone cannot determine whether I win or lose elections. If you don’t win elections, don’t earn people’s respect with your work and actions, then you don’t survive. In Congress, if you work hard, deliver results, then there is scope for you to grow. I believe in the values of my party and what it stands for. Any party, organisation has its shortcomings, so do we. But we are working on resolving issues. At least, our government wasn’t dictated by Nagpur as it is with this government at the Centre.”

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