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Gehlot saab knows he is not returning to power, and wants to ensure that neither do his rivals in the party, says Rajyavardhan Rathore- Mrit News

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Former Union Minister and BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore speaks to Nistula Hebbar on Rajasthan politics…..

Former Union Minister and BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore speaks to Nistula Hebbar on Rajasthan politics…..

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says that the frequent communal flare-ups in Rajasthan are part of the BJP’s modus operandi to inflame communal passions and polarise the electorate ahead of Assembly election in 2023.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is responsible for the law and order not just as CM but also the Home Minister of the State. Either there has been an intelligence failure, or it’s a mindful failure. In Rajasthan, the police is burdened with collecting political intelligence now, to assist Mr. Gehlot to survive politically not just with regard to the Opposition but from challengers from within his party. He is on record about tapping phones, such alleged recordings of these phone taps have been made public. Thus, police resources are being used for these purposes rather than protecting the people.

Rajasthan tops in crimes against women, and in this context if Ministers make comments like “this is State for men” , and the Chief Minister makes comments in the context of riots in Karauli that the body language of people raising the slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” was provocative rather than taking note of the police’s warning that an accumulation of projectiles was taking place, and that they needed more manpower was ignored. The perpetrator, the councillor, who is in the video, has still not been apprehended. This is a sad reflection of the state of governance in the State. Gehlot Saab knows that he is not coming back to power and to maintain his support within his party, he has given MLAs and leaders a free hand in their areas. He is not returning to power and wants to ensure that his rivals in the party don’t either.

What about the Alwar case where the government says BJP councillors had recommended widening of the road where the temple stood?

Here, there are very clear rules that if any religious place comes in the path of a road widening project, then it has to be cleared by an appropriate authority. That authority is basically either the SDM or the Collector. In their meetings, the committee on road widening has, on record said, that where the temple stands, the width of the road should be reduced to avoid demolishing the temple. So what was the authority doing? Quite clearly there is no governance happening.

Coming to the BJP, like the Congress, it too is facing some inner challenges, with the high command telling State leaders to work under collective leadership and not insist on a face projected.

Political strategy differs for every election. The leadership team in the party decides collectively what that strategy should be. I dont believe anything has been announced for Rajasthan so far. In any case, collective leadership and projecting the work of the Modi government is largely the way the party fights polls.

The State government has restored the old pension scheme. What is your view?

It’s a political decision, primarily because in Rajasthan the present Chief Minister and the Congress government has not been able to do fiscal management. For example, in 2014, Prime Minister Modi ensured via the 14th Finance Commission that funds were devolved to panchayats directly within 15 days. That hasn’t happened in Rajasthan, it goes to a separate account called “Public Distibution” or PD and can be used only after authorisation by the Department of Finance. There are many other examples of funds sent by the Centre for schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana etc. not being utilised. For that, as a sop, this reversion to the old pension scheme has been announced for those who joined service in 2004. None of them will be retiring in Mr. Gehlot’s term as Chief Minister, it is a problem he is leaving for future governments, which is typical.

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