Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan has expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) attempts to communalize the upcoming assembly elections in the state will not be successful. Drawing parallels to the Karnataka elections, where the Congress party secured a significant victory, Gehlot stated that the BJP's strategy failed there and will fail in Rajasthan as well.
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Chief Minister Gehlot emphasized his party's focus on a national social security act, highlighting their governance model centered around welfare. He hopes that this approach will help the party retain power.
In Karnataka, the Congress party also prioritized welfare schemes, some of which were criticized by BJP leaders as mere "freebies."
Gehlot believes that the BJP's reliance on religious rhetoric and divisive statements will not resonate with the people, as it did not work in Karnataka when they invoked the name of Bajrang Bali.
He even demanded the election commission stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from campaigning, considering it a criminal act.
Asserting confidence in his governance, Chief Minister Gehlot remarks that his administration's performance will enable them to withstand the aggressive BJP campaign in Rajasthan, ensuring their return to power. He repeatedly highlights the numerous welfare schemes implemented by his government, around 10 in total, which he claims are not election-oriented but designed for long-term benefit.
Rajasthan has traditionally seen a rotational pattern of power between the BJP and Congress, with each party winning alternate elections over the past four decades. Gehlot remains optimistic about their chances this time, citing their accomplishments in infrastructure development, education, healthcare, water management, and welfare initiatives for women, such as the construction of one lakh kilometers of roads and the provision of pensions to one crore individuals.
Stressing his commitment to welfare, Gehlot has requested Prime Minister Modi to enact a national social security legislation akin to Rahul Gandhi's Nyay scheme and the four laws passed by former PM Manmohan Singh and former party chief Sonia Gandhi, namely the Right to Information (RTI), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Food Security Act, and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.
The Chief Minister's recent state budget aligns with the four issues raised during Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, which are rising prices, unemployment, non-violence, and reducing the wealth gap. Gehlot believes that his budget has paved the way for the formulation of ten welfare schemes, which he assures will continue beyond the elections.
He highlights specific measures such as increasing insurance coverage to ₹25 lakhs, introducing a Right to Health Act applicable nationwide, and addressing the themes of Rahul Gandhi's campaign.
Furthermore, Chief Minister Gehlot joins several opposition parties in accusing the central government of exploiting investigative agencies to settle political scores and target them ahead of the elections. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining the credibility of these agencies in the national interest, expressing concern about the alleged misuse of institutions like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Rajasthan Assembly polls are scheduled to take place at the end of the year.
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