Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra runs into  multiple problems

Gaurav Yatra is being viewed as another political stunt after the unproductive “Sarkar Apke Dwar” programme, which had failed to fulfill its promises

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
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Prakash Bhandari

Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Gaurav Yatra which was designed to connect with the people and tell them about the progress done by the BJP government in the past five years is proving negative both for the party as well as the state government. The ambitious  Yatra has run into problems with the judiciary taking cognizance and the Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to both government and the BJP to explain as to how the yatra is being conducted and expenditure by the government in making arrangements for the yatra.

The Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot, who has been blaming the state government for spending government funds for the political yatra of the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has now cornered the state government.

Sachin Pilot alleged that the Sirohi district’s Public Works Department has invited tenders for the tents, electricity and chairs for the proposed Gaurav Yatra in Pindwara-Abu Road rally. Sachin said that the tender invitation by the PWD itself proves that the state government was incurring the expenditure for the yatra. He said this action was in ‘contempt of court’ as the High Court had issued notices to the state government to furnish in details the expenditure involved. He said the BJP is flouting the High Court order and spending government funds for its political rally.

The yatra is backed by the state administration and the state government has been issuing advertisements to publicise the  yatra under the garb of advertisements issued in the public interest to show the development in the state.

In fact, the yatra has created confusion in the minds of the people as to its “ official” and “political” nature. The state government had directed the various  district’s  public works department ( PWD) to provide all the facilities for holding public meetings and also create the platform and provide electricity sanitation and water supply at the places where the public meeting are held during the yatra.

The second phase of the Gaurav Yatra was postponed due to the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The second phase of the yatra was scheduled to begin from Bharatpur division on August 16. However, the party decided to postpone the Bharatpur leg of the yatra, mostly because the gujjar community there which has been demanding reservation has threatened to disrupt the yatra. Even the third leg of the yatra, set to begin from August 24 is on a sticky wicket.

The Gaurav Yatra in Bharatpur, the eastern part of the state was meant to be politically significant. But as the Gujjars, who are hell-bent on seeking reservation have threatened to  disturb the yatra, the BJP strategists decided to skip the eastern Rajasthan. Gujjar leader Col Kirori Singh Bainsala said that the BJP government  purposely delayed the implementation of the reservation with a view to deny it. He said the state government has no political will to grant reservation to the Gujjars, Rebaris and the Gadiya Lohars.

The yatra has created confusion in the minds of the people due to its “official” and “political” nature. The state government had directed the public works department in all districts to make arrangements, including electricity, water supply and sanitation, at all locations where the public meetings were to be held.

All the inaugurations and launches of the various project were also done by the PWD, thus making it a “state government show”. When the High Court  issued notice to the state government on a PIL of advocate Vibhuti Bhushan Sharma, the state government withdrew all the orders it issued to the PWD. The PIL stated that the Vasundhara Raje government was misusing the state government funds for political purpose.

The yatra did not arouse any public interest and the people had to be coerced into attending these meetings by officials and the police. The response from the BJP workers also has been lukewarm. Eventually, the yatra turned into a negative journey where the people have started asking the Chief Minister about the progresses she has made.

The Gaurav Yatra was viewed as another eye wash after the  unproductive “Sarkar Apke Dwar” programme which was to connect the CM with the people. Raje went to divisional headquarter, but as the implementation was poor, the people were not satisfied with the performance and promises of the government. Now, the Gaurav Yatra is also being viewed as a political stunt.

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