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Raje in Hot Seat: Rajasthan Assembly polls ahead

The Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan faces an uphill task to regain voters’ confidence ahead of the assembly polls scheduled to be held later this year due to its poor governance. After an impressive performance in the 2013 Rajasthan Assembly polls by winning 163 seats, the Raje government is facing anti-incumbency for its failure to deliver the promises made by it to people. BJP’s defeat in Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh by-polls indicates that voters are unhappy with the party’s performance in the state. After its failure to prove majority for forming the government in Karnataka, the road ahead looks tough for BJP as it will have to work hard to retain power in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan BSP leader Tejilal said, “The Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government has completely failed in every segment. Nothing special has happened in job creation, education, and social welfare. However, caste violence has increased. Jaipur Metro project has failed. Dalits and Muslims are being targeted. Villagers had displayed black flags to big leaders like Narendra Modi and Vasundhara Raje during their public addresses.”

Even RSS is unhappy with the functioning of the government. The government received flak from RSS for demolishing 65 temples and eight shrines in Jaipur. On the other hand, the government defended its stand and stated that the decision was taken for carrying out developmental work. Vasundhara Raje is the only leader who has been re-elected with a record number of votes. However, this time voters are running out of patience as she has failed to live up to their expectations.

Vandana Nogia, Member of state working committee of Rajasthan BJP said, “The government has provided good governance and results are visible in gram panchayats, rural areas, and cities. The government has also taken steps to develop the infrastructure of the state.”

“The loan waiver scheme will be implemented soon. GST and demonetisation had an adverse effect on businesses for a temporary period but things will get streamlined in future. Development has not occurred in India for the past 60 years, so it will take time to improve the system,” she added.

Rural voters too are furious with the Raje government as it has been unable to address the issues affecting the agricultural sector. Farmers are committing suicide in the state as the government has failed to pay a better price for their agricultural produce. Since 2016, more than 65 farmers have committed suicide in the state. Whereas, BJP MLA Heera Lal Nagar had mocked the farmer suicide incident and stated that farmers commit suicide for availing monetary benefits.

Congress Rajasthan unit Vice President Dr. Archana Sharma said, “Many developmental projects are pending due to lack of funds. There is a lack of coordination between the centre and the state government.”

“The Vasundhara Raje government has also failed to mobilise funds from the central government for Rajasthan. There has been a rise in crime against women and caste violence too is increasing. The administration has completely failed. Many police officers are working under political influence,” she added.

Even Dalits are feeling insecure under the Vasundhara Raje government due to atrocities committed against them. Since last four years, there has been a steady rise in violence against them. Gujjars too are unhappy with the government for the manner in which it handled the reservation issue. The Gujjar community has been demanding 5 per cent reservation in government educational institutions and jobs under special backward class category. The government is yet to fulfil their demands.

CPI(M) Rajasthan member Bhanwar Singh said, “People are completely fed up with this government. They have failed to address the problems of farmers and farmers suicide is increasing. Metro and refinery projects have been postponed. The Metro project was initiated during the reign of Congress government but no results are visible after BJP came to power. Businessmen are upset with the government’s economic policies. Workers have to work 12 hours a day for earning Rs 250 per day.”

Due to the rising unemployment in the state, youths are unhappy with the Raje government. Around 21 lakh youth who applied for government jobs in various departments continue to wait for the examination to be held or declaration of results. Many of them have to relocate to other states in search of jobs. Since youth form a major chunk of the electorate they can play a decisive role to decide the outcome of the election. Therefore, BJP will have to pay a heavy price if it ignores youth voters.

BJP’s organisational structure too has become weak in Rajasthan as Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will have to take steps to strengthen it. Party workers have been complaining about Raje remaining inaccessible to them. On the other hand, Congress party is on a revival mode after emerging victorious in the Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh by-polls. Congress is expected to give a tough fight to BJP in the Rajasthan assembly polls.

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