Questioning the Ashok Gehlot government's performance on the law and order front, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invoked the grisly 2022 murder of a tailor in Udaipur. "What happened in Udaipur, had someone even imagined something like this could happen? People came to get clothes stitched, then slit the throat and shared a video of the act," the Prime Minister said, referring to the murder of Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, at his shop in Udaipur in July last year.
The tailor had received threats for supporting Nupur Sharma, a former BJP spokesperson who was sacked by the party after her comments on Prophet Muhammad sparked a massive row. On June 28 last year, Gos Mohammad and Riyaz visited Kanhaiya Lal's shop as customers. They killed him there, recorded a video gloating about the heinous crime, and shared it online.
The Prime Minister was addressing a rally in Chittorgarh this afternoon after laying foundation stone for projects worth Rs 7,000 crore in the poll-bound state.
Congress had formed the government in Rajasthan by "misleading" people but failed to run it properly as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was "busy saving his chair", he said. The remark was a swipe at the infighting between the rival Congress camps led by Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion almost toppled the state government in 2020.
The Prime Minister said Mr Gehlot had already "accepted defeat". "Gehlot has accepted defeat, and is requesting BJP to not stop schemes. I assure that no public scheme will be stopped. BJP will not stop any public scheme but try to improve it, this is Modi's guarantee," he said.
Addressing a gathering last week, Mr Gehlot had said the Prime Minister had said the Prime Minister should guarantee that the schemes of the Congress government will not be discontinued if the BJP comes to power in the polls due later this year.
The Prime Minister also responded to the buzz around the BJP's face for the Assembly polls. The BJP's Rajasthan unit has rival camps led by veterans such as Vasundhara Raje and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and whether the central leadership will choose a leader in the run-up to polls and how it will tackle infighting in its push for victory.
Ruling out any plan to announce a Chief Minister face ahead of the polls, the Prime Minister said, "Kamal (BJP symbol lotus) is our face, Kamal is our candidate. We will make Kamal win."
The remarks can also be seen as a message to all Chief Ministerial aspirants, who have now started bolstering support to better their chances for the top post if the BJP comes to power.
In another attack on the Ashok Gehlot goverment on the law and order question, the Prime Minister flagged the crimes against women in Rajasthan. "I feel pain when atrocities take place against daughters anywhere in the country, but Congress has made this a tradition in Rajasthan," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also brought up the Rajasthan paper leak case of alleged corruption in state government's job recruitment exams. "We will go to bottom of paper leak matter, action will be taken against those who have committed corruption, looted money of poor," he said.