Published: 09th February 2023
Sachin Pilot calls for 2024 elections to focus on real issues, not divisive ones
The Congress leader emphasised the need for unity among political parties for the betterment of the nation and urged students to vote for leaders they relate with
Congress leader and former union minister, Sachin Pilot, called for the 2024 general elections to focus on real issues such as employment, sanitation, economic growth, and poverty alleviation, rather than communal and divisive issues, during a session at the 11th edition of The New Indian Express' ThinkEdu Conclave 2023 in Chennai on Thursday, February 9.
Pilot also expressed concern over the negative impacts of social media on political discourse and urged political parties to prioritise the nation and engage in honest and respectful discussions. He took a dig at the opposition BJP party for rewriting history and not focusing on real issues. Pilot emphasized the need for all political parties to work together for the betterment of the country and advised students to vote for leaders they relate to. He remained non-committal on the possibility of becoming the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
Read Also ; The shifting knowledge paradigm in Indian education system: Insights from scholar Dushyanth Sridhar and history commentator Badri Seshadri
Pilot said he hopes that the 2024 general elections are fought on the real issues of the country and not on communal or temple-mosque or India-Pakistan issues. Speaking at a session on the topic “Hopes and Dreams: What New India Thinks” in conversation with Kaveree Bamzai, Pilot said that in the 2024 general elections, the real issues should be on delivery of government on issues like employment, sanitation, economic growth, poverty alleviation. “These issues have to be in the forefront to make a clear and concise decision among the voters,” said Pilot.
He urged the youth to educate themselves and research, read, and talk to come up with the best alternative for them in the next Lok Sabha elections. Additionally, Pilot expressed his concern over the way political parties are attacking and maligning their opponents to stay in the news. He said that while social media has brought transparency, it has also brought negative consequences such as false propaganda and personal attacks on opponents, which are harmful to democracy.
He advised political parties to be mindful of differing opinions and be respectful towards their opposition. “We should not say whatever we want. There should be some thread of honesty and principles in it,” said Pilot.
Pilot also said that for any political party, the nation should come first. “For us as policymakers, I say this across party lines, that we can have differences of opinion, we can win or lose elections but we should have a certain standard in our discourse. We should think about the nation first. It can’t always be about grabbing power and flaunting muscles. If we keep harping upon deflating our opponents always then it is not healthy for our democracy,” he added.
He criticised the opposition BJP party, stating that too much focus is placed on discussing figures from the past, instead of addressing pressing issues such as employment, poverty, and education. “We should not spend our political capital in rewriting history. Instead, I feel we should focus on the future of our country and discuss real issues like job situation, poverty, education,” he said.
Answering a question on polarisation influencing elections, Pilot said hate and negativity have a shelf life. “Beyond a certain degree, you cannot do it (polarisation) more. People in our country are internally secular. How much people try to polarize and shift the discussion from jobs, to poverty, it won’t work beyond a point. It has a ceiling also,” said the Congress leader.
Commenting on the state of the country and its youth, he said that the current generation is highly ambitious and well-equipped to compete on a global scale. “Earlier our aspiration was limited, but today our youths are thinking of taking the global competition. Today they have the brain power to climb the professional ladder but they also have the confidence to take on the world,” said the Congress MLA. He urged the youths to join politics.
Pilot stressed the need for unity among political parties for the betterment of the nation. He stated that as a country, we have a responsibility to future generations to work collaboratively and create a brighter future for them.
“As a nation, we have a lot of potential. We have done a bit in the last seven decades, but we all need to come together then the next 25 years can really be India’s time. But if we are caught in our own little issues and political differences that will override our larger concerns then we are not doing justice to our future generation,” said Pilot.
Pilot also spoke about the Congress party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying that it was not solely a political campaign but was aimed to connect with the general public. He refrained from commenting on the impact it would have but said it would be unjust to say it would have none.
In response to questions after the session, Pilot urged students to elect a leader and vote for him/her if they relate to him. When asked about his prospects of becoming the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, he remained non-committal and said that it was yet to be seen. He stressed that the upcoming elections in northern India are crucial for the Congress party and their performance in these elections would be decisive in putting up a strong challenge in the 2024 general elections.