Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra may turn into BJP’s Vidai Yatra
There is a saying in state politics that what Mewar thinks today, Rajasthan thinks tomorrow. But even in BJP strongholds, the response to the yatra has been lukewarm and the spirit of BJP workers low
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has set out on a 58-day-long Gaurav Yatra that will take her to every nook and corner of the state. The idea behind the yatra is to connect with the masses and convey to them that the state has prospered under BJP rule and that the people should return the BJP to power once again when elections for the Assembly are held in November. The yatra was backed by the state machinery and a large number of people were brought in from various places in the Mewar region of south Rajasthan to make it look big. The yatra was given a send-off by BJP president Amit Shah.
The Mewar region is considered a politically sensitive region as it has produced four chief ministers and has been a traditional Congress bastion. There is a saying in state politics that what Mewar thinks today, Rajasthan thinks tomorrow. But even in BJP strongholds, the response to the yatra has been lukewarm and the spirit of BJP workers low.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje and the party’s leadership could sense the mood of the masses who are known for effecting change of guards every five years. The Chief Minister lost no time to appeal to people that changing the government every five years hampers development and that they should elect a BJP government yet again. At Gogunda, where Maharana Pratap fought the Mughals, she appealed to the people for giving the BJP another term in the office. She admitted that she does not wield a magic wand and took a defensive stand on the party’s failure to provide jobs to the youth. The party had promised 40 lakh jobs but could only create a few lakhs. In the next two months, it hopes to provide some 40,000 jobs. The process of recruitment became a casualty as for a long time, the Rajasthan Public Service Commission had no chairman.
During this “Sarkar Apke Dwar,” the Chief Minister was flooded with complaints against officials and demands for development work in villages and towns. But the complaints were not addressed and the programme flopped. The people have started asking her about the hollow promises that were made to them during these visits
Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has described the yatra as a state-sponsored political programme. He blamed the Chief Minister for misusing the official machinery and the state government’s funds for making the rally a success. He said the Gaurav Yatra will be a “Vidai Yatra” for the BJP as the Vasundhara Raje government has failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
“The visits to the various temples and religious shrines have been designed to appeal to Hindu sentiments. The Chief Minister has no time to curb corruption. The people are asking her as to how her government flouted the Central government’s guidelines and allotted 633 major mining licences located over one lakh bighas of land. The state, during the BJP rule, has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 45 crore and the principal mining secretary, who was involved in the mines allotment, was caught by the state anti-corruption bureau. But the BJP government reinstated him and also promoted him while the matter is pending before the court,” asserted PCC president Sachin Pilot.
The Chief Minister had initiated people to people contact programmes and visited various divisional headquarters and met people and officials. During this “Sarkar Apke Dwar,” the Chief Minister was flooded with complaints against officials and demands for development work in villages and towns. But the complaints were not addressed and the programme flopped. The people have started asking her about the hollow promises that were made to them during these visits.
Yet, people are making beelines during the yatra and presenting her with lists of demands. At Gogunda, large bundles of petitions were left behind at the rostrum of the meeting.
“Such yatras are just an eyewash. People have been talking about effecting a change. The CM has also smelt the rat and now she has adopted a policy of persuasion and telling people that regular change of guards would not be in the interest of the state. The BJP was given its time and the people voted overwhelmingly during the Modi wave. But the BJP government failed to deliver and the people have made up their minds to bring in the Congress. The government should stop misuse of funds by spending on such yatras,” said Gehlot.