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Rajasthan polls: Congress aims to buck ‘alternate’ trend, BJP seeks comeback

First Published: 25th November, 2023 8:30 IST

The Congress government suffered a near rebellion over the leadership issue in the state from Pilot and his supporters.

As no political party has retained power in Rajasthan for the last 25 years, Congress is hoping to buck the trend banking on Gehlot’s “welfarism” and promises made in its manifesto while the BJP seeks to oust the “corrupt” government by vociferously raising issues concerning farmers, women and youth.

Since 1998, the Congress and BJP have been coming to power in the state alternately after every five years.

Congress in its manifesto promised to double the insurance sum under the flagship Chiranjeevi health insurance from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, 10 lakh jobs including 4 lakh government jobs and continue the Old Pension Scheme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sharply attacked the Congress in his rallies and highlighted how the people were paying more in the state in terms of prices of petrol and diesel.

To counter the Congress narrative, he also said that a BJP government will not stop schemes started by the state government but improve them. Congress has laid thrust on the Old Pension Scheme and caste census.

BJP apparently faced some questions in some parts of the state over the change in the recruitment policy for armed forces. Many youth from the state aspire to join the armed forces. The Gehlot government sought to counter “exam paper leak” allegations by bringing strong laws against those who committed the crime.

The Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) cancelled eight examinations between 2019 and 2022 owing to ‘paper leak’. It led to the filing of several FIRs and the arrest of hundreds. Having battled the feud between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot, the Congress sought to put up a united face in the polls.

The Congress government suffered a near rebellion over the leadership issue in the state from Pilot and his supporters.

BJP leaders repeatedly referred to ‘red diary’ allegations against the Gehlot government, aired by sacked minister Rajendra Gudha. The BJP leaders have also accused the Congress of “appeasement politics”.

Both BJP and Congress have rebels in the fray and the role of smaller parties is also crucial. BSP has won seats in the state. Aam Aadmi Party is also in the fray. The smaller parties include the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, Bharatiya Adivasi Party, CPI-M, Jannayak Janata Party and Azad Samaj Party.

The BJP fielded some senior leaders including MPs in the fray and the party appeared to fight an election under a collective leadership. Gehlot campaigned for the party throughout the state and senior leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi also campaigned in the state.

For BJP, apart from PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among leaders who sought support for party nominees.

BJP and Congress have made a series of promises to the people of the state. Congress promises also include legal measures for hate speech.

However, the suspense of who will win the 2023 Rajasthan Assembly Elections will be over once the poll results are declared on December 23. (ANI)

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