Raje government has entered the last leg of its present tenure. How does Congress rate past four years of her government?
I think the four years of Raje Government have been a spectacular failure. When the government was formed with 163 MLAs, people had a lot of expectations and promises made to them were quite tall. But in the four years that have gone by, every act of governance actually collapsed. The government is hell bent on privatisation of education, health care, roadways, housing sector, etc. In the garb of PPP, the CM is trying to give away state resources into the hands of a few in a very opaque manner. Law and order has totally collapsed; all that we get to hear is strange, shocking and horrific news stories. The Resurgent Rajasthan, for which they spent crores to organize, has been a miserable failure. In the four years of Raje government there has not been even a feeble attempt to try and live up to those tall promises. The only thing that she managed to do was to break tradition and introduce the gag ordinance to protect politicians and bureaucrats and block the media.
Whether it is the doctors or state government employees or Aanganwadi workers, all segments of our society in Rajasthan are up in arms, holding demonstrations and protests because there is lack of communication, there is arrogance of power and there is this falsehood that prevails in the mind of the CM that people will support her no matter what, even if she does not deliver.
Farmer suicides, joblessness, high corruption — be it the mining scam, PHED scam, LED scam or Lalit Modi scam — all these are hallmarks of the past four years. And, the government is celebrating all these with the tax payers’ money. What are they celebrating? They are celebrating the number of rapes that have happened in Rajasthan, gang wars that took place, custodial deaths that happened and the collapsed law and order. Also, now there are these so-called ‘gau rakshaks’.
She (Raje) must introspect that in the last 12 months left before she demits office what is that she can set right.
Another law that she made was that an ex-CM can have a ‘house of choice’ for life. This is basically cheating the tax payers. You cannot entitle yourself to have a ‘house of choice’ for rest of your life. She knows her time has come to an end; any CM confident of winning an election will not worry about houses, pensions and post-retirement benefits for self. It is a wrong precedent and shows that one has no regard for democratic values.
These laws, as well as rampant privatization of public resources, will be undone once the Congress comes to power.
If the government has been performing so badly, why has Congress not succeeded in building a mass movement against it in four years?
If you feel the pulse of the people, you will see that they are waiting anxiously for the elections. They have made up their mind that the Congress party had presented a much better governance module. Whether it is farmer issues, price rise, food inflation or corruption issue, Congress has taken to the streets, protested against the BJP government inside and outside the assembly. Our numbers are very less; we have few MPs in Lok Sabha and 24 MLAs in Vidhan Sabha. We made up for this by having mass programmes among villagers and in the towns. For farm loan waivers, I walked 100km to ensure that the CM delivers on the farmers’ demand. The government then made a committee (to study farm loan waiver demand). It was because of the pressure of the Opposition that the gag ordinance was sent to the select committee. The government rolled back hike in power tariff because of our protests. So, we have been able to hold the government responsible for all the mischiefs it committed.
On the farmers’ issues, it was the CPI(M), which does not have a single MLA, that launched the biggest agitation of past four years and forced the government to accept its demands.
No, it was announcement of the Congress party and myself, while walking in Jhalawar, that forced the government. The day we said Raje government will have to waive farm loans in totality, the next day the government announced to form the committee. There were many organisations, even the RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, that were agitating. But the day the principal opposition party (Congress) mounted pressure, the government yielded. The government may call anybody for discussion but ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We will ensure that farmers get the waivers. She (Raje) wants to do it closer to the elections but we are pushing that she should do it now. Eighty farmers have died but the CM has not spared even five minutes to hear them; it shows that the government is living in denial.
People feel Congress lacks political aggression vis-a-vis BJP. Raje is personally touring and taking decisions in all constituencies where byelections are due, whereas you have held just one rally so far in your own constituency where too the bypoll is due. How do you explain that?
You know why she is touring? It is because her government has got feedback that the BJP is losing all three seats (where bypolls are due). You cannot be absent for four years and then try and fulfill the promises. She is calling and meeting people on caste lines like, 11 am Meenas, 12 pm Balais, 1 pm Jats, 3 pm Gurjars, 4 pm Brahmins, etc. She is desperate. What example is she setting by doing caste politics? Should the head of a government call caste-wise meetings? A government’s work speaks for itself. If she is confident of her development agenda, why is she spending so much time campaigning for bypolls? She is basically trying to pacify the angry and disgruntled BJP workers. Her party men are upset with her. Her government neglected people for four years that is why she has to go and try to appease them now. But her touring will not help the BJP, as we are going to win all the three seats. We have a programme called “Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav” under which all our workers and leaders are consistently working on the ground. People are looking for the Congress to have a decisive win (in 2018).
Assembly elections are just a year away and Congressmen still appear divided in different camps as some of them are even demanding that a chief ministerial candidate be declared as was done in Punjab. Will this not affect the party’s prospects in coming elections?
AICC general secretary Avinash Pande has already clarified that such demands are individual opinions of people but the Congress party’s view is that we will fight the election under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Once we get absolute majority, then the party and the MLAs will sit together and decide who will head the government. That’s the official position and the reality of Rajasthan, as simple as that. We are all working together for a common objective of winning the next assembly and the general elections.
Resurgent Rajasthan, for which they spent crores to organize, has been a miserable failure
Only thing that she (Raje) managed to do was to break tradition and introduce the gag ordinance to protect politicians and bureaucrats and block the media There is arrogance of power and there is this falsehood that prevails in the mind of the CM that people will support her no matter what, even if she does not deliver
Source : timesofindia