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CM Gehlot’s schemes benefit 4 crore people

NewsCM Gehlot’s schemes benefit 4 crore people

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has established a close rapport with over one crore families through “Mehangai Rahat Camps” in just three weeks. Now, it is expected that one or more members of every single family of Rajasthan will be beneficiaries of Gehlot’s one scheme or the other.
Presently, a total of 4.5 crore members of one crore families are the beneficiaries of different schemes. It means that by the time elections are held in Rajasthan, Gehlot’s schemes will have reached every single house in the state which has a population of 8.5 crore. So, the Congress will use “Mehangai Rahat” as its key agenda for the elections in Rajasthan this year-end.
The party is taking help from poll strategist Naresh Arora who was also behind the Karnataka success. The other strategist Sunil Kanugolu will also be joining the team. Kamal Nath is taking help of Sunil in Madhya Pradesh. CM Gehlot is sparing no effort to repeat the Congress government in Rajasthan. The BJP is already in a panic mode due to the popularity of Gehlot’s schemes. After the Karnataka defeat, the BJP seems to be clueless in terms of issues. Moreover, the saffron party is struggling to find a suitable CM face. The indications so far are that the BJP will fight polls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face, and Hindutva will be its agenda. But the BJP’s concern at the same time is that PM Modi’s face could not do much for it in Karnataka. Moreover, the polarising narrative on various issues such as “Bajrang Bali” did not also make the desired impact there. So the BJP is understandably in double mind over fighting the next polls on PM Modi’s “popularity”. The BJP is also worried over whether or not the “politics of polarisation” can counter Gehlot’s schemes.
Meanwhile, the BJP has made all possible attempts to woo different castes. The party appointed a Brahmin leader as its Rajasthan unit president. Similarly, LoP post was given to a Rajput, and deputy leader post went to a Jat. The party also gave the Vice President post to a Jat leader. Now, Arjun Meghwal has been promoted as Law Minister in what is being seen as BJP’s move to woo Dalit voters. Arjun Meghwal belongs to this community. Rajasthan has 16% Dalit votes and Meghwals account for a major chunk of this section. They are considered a traditional BJP vote bank. Apart from addressing the caste equations angle by giving the Law Ministry to Meghwal, PM Modi has given a message that there is no dearth of “faces” for BJP in Rajasthan. This political messaging is not a good sign for former CM Vasundhara Raje. The political signal is that the BJP may avoid projecting Raje as CM candidate. After BJP’s defeat in Karnataka, the Raje camp was hopeful that the party would now bank on her. However, Raje is dependent on PM Modi. After PM Modi referred to Rajasthan riots, Raje also tweeted on the same line, signalling that the politics of polarisation would be given the much-needed momentum ahead of polls in Rajasthan.
At the same time, Congress’ rebel Sachin Pilot is giving anxious moments to Raje. There are speculations that BJP is helping Sachin to consolidate its position for upcoming polls.
But the key question is whether all such tricks and tactics will pose any challenge to Gehlot who is deriving strength from his popular schemes which are benefiting the maximum number of people in Rajasthan. Schemes like the Old Pension Scheme, Chiranjeevi Swasthya Yojana, free power up to 100 units, 2000 unit free power to farmers, etc. are Gehlot’s strength. Retired government employees are happy to have RGHS cards. The government gives Rs 30,000 to every government employee for treatment. They can go to any hospital for treatment. Temporary employees are also being regularised. BPL families are getting gas cylinders for Rs 500, free ration, treatment, pension, free treatment, etc. So, the caste politics will hardly be able to eclipse Gehlot’s schemes on the electoral turf.
PM Modi has also seen the benefit of such welfare schemes in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Schemes such as toilets for all, Ujjwala scheme, free ration, housing schemes, etc. played a big role in ensuring BJP’s victory across rural regions of India. Voters cutting across caste lines supported PM Modi.
Gehlot may also gain advantage in the upcoming elections on similar lines, showcasing his schemes. Rajasthan has more than 5 crore voters. Gehlot’s schemes are benefitting a majority of them. Free mobiles will be given to women in September. Gehlot is reaching out to every section of society and people of every age group. With this in the background, the Hindutva issues, caste politics and the Sachin factor are unlikely to help BJP much.

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