Traffic came to halt in parts of Jaipur on Thursday, as hoards of Congress workers thronged the city roads to celebrate state Congress chief Sachin Pilot’s 40th birthday.
The traffic snarls even forced Pilot to walk for more than a kilometer from the government hostel to reach the party office.
Though some in the party called it a show of strength, members of Pilot’s coterie said it was people’s affection for the Congress leader.
“It is not a new tradition to celebrate birthdays of party leaders, such large crowds have become a routine,” a senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said.
First on foot and then on shoulders of party workers, Pilot was given a grand welcome by his followers who showered flowers on him while more than 101 priests chanted prayers and sweets were distributed, crackers bust as workers danced to the beats of dhol-nagadas played by tribes people.
Refuting that the celebration was a show of strength, Pilot said, “I am thankful for the wishes and affection. The biggest asset for a politician is to make place in peoples’ heart.”
“My priority is that people vote for the Congress,” he said.
“The BJP is looking for agendas to hide its failures, but now people have made up their mind and 2018 (the state is scheduled to go for polls next year) will be of the Congress.”
Addressing newspersons, Pilot announced that in October, the state Congress will be organsing a kissan samelan to demand waiver of farm loans.
Flood relief assistance has still not reached the people and the ‘girdawari’ or crop damage assessment report too is pending, he said.
As part of the celebration, Congress workers across the states are organizing blood donation camps.