People in Tonk need servant, not Pilot: Yoonus Khan

Campaign Trail

Khan, who claims to be 'servant' of the people, is pitted against Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot for the Tonk seat in the December 7 assembly polls. (Photo/ Suman Sarkar)

"Do you have an aeroplane? A helicopter? Then why do you need a Pilot?" asks BJP's lone Muslim candidate, Yoonus Khan, of voters in Rajasthan and also answers his own question.

Khan, who claims to be 'servant' of the people, is pitted against Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot for the Tonk seat in the December 7 assembly polls.
 
Tonk, famous for the former “Nawabs of Tonk”, is a Muslim dominant city. But the difference this time is that BJP has fielded a Muslim candidate, while the Congress has picked a Hindu nominee, probably for the first time in last five decades.

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Just over a 100 km from Jaipur, the town came into the spotlight when the Congress and BJP announced their list of candidates. The fight turned interesting after BJP fielded its lone Muslim candidate against Pilot to woo Muslim voters. If Pilot is the state Congress chief, Yoonus Khan is no less. He is Transport and Public Works minister in the Vasundhara Raje government and is often referred to as number two in Raje's cabinet. Moreover, being the only Muslim face of BJP makes him stand out.   

Daily routine

Khan, who is camping in Tonk since November 19, holds at least 12 public meetings in a day. His day-long schedule includes visits to a nearby temple and a mosque, tea at a roadside stall, attending rallies, donning turbans, shaking hands, ploughing in the fields and riding a horse. 
 
In most of his public addresses, he agrees that he is an outsider but when it comes to attacking his rival Pilot, he doesn't forget to mention his birthplace and in-laws. "I am not from Tonk but I am a Rajasthani unlike Pilot, who was born in Ghaziabad and has in-laws in Kashmir," Khan rubs in every time. Referring to the promises made by Pilot on the day of filing nomination, Khan tells people, "Sachin Ji said he will build an airport in Tonk. He should know there is a need for a railway line first. As roadways minister, I have come here many times and I know what is good for Tonk." 
 
Addressing the crowd in Swarna village, on the banks of the Banas river, the 54-year-old leader reminds the people, "We want to bring industries here and that will provide jobs to youth. As minister, I have built roads worth Rs 2,000 crore."
 
Tonk has been neglected by both Congress and BJP. Lack of industries, rail link and roads apart, Tonk has unemployment and is yet to get basic amenities. Water scarcity is severe," Ali Asgar Khan, a resident, told DH.

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People in Tonk need servant, not Pilot: Yoonus Khan

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