After getting an unprecedented mandate in its favour, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which will form next government in Rajasthan, faces the challenge of meeting people’s expectations and keeping the promises made during the election campaign. With a score of 162 in the 200-member House, the ruling party has its task cut out.
In its populist manifesto released last month, the BJP had promised five per cent reservation to Gujjars, along with seven other tribes, as Special Backward Class after removing “all constitutional impediments” and rehabilitation of Hindu refugees, mainly those from the Sindh province of Pakistan.
It remains to be seen whether State BJP president Vasundhara Raje, set to become Chief Minister, will be able to sort out the issue of Gujjar reservation, which is sub-judice, and meet people’s expectations for a sustained and inclusive growth, transforming Rajasthan into an economically-vibrant and socially-progressive State.
The manifesto, publicised as the “Suraaj Sankalp Patra,” had made commitments about good governance and promised loans to farmers at 1 per cent interest, creation of 15 lakh jobs, 24-hour power supply to domestic consumers, development of educational infrastructure for minorities and establishment of a separate Ministry for cow conservation.
The round-the-clock power supply will depend on the availability in the Northern Grid, as the State is yet to become self-sufficient in power generation. Similarly, the target of creating 15 lakh jobs will depend on industrialisation with the emphasis on more livelihood opportunities.
Youth and women, who made a significant addition to the vote share of the BJP in the Assembly elections, look forward to formulating special policies for development of tourism, mining, women and children and special schemes for the welfare of the disabled, backward sections and professionals in different fields.
Ms. Raje had announced at the manifesto releasing function that the BJP would enact a law for security of farmers and ensure development of the dairy sector, besides strengthening the Panchayati Raj institutions and making women self-sufficient in different fields.
The fate of the previous Ashok Gehlot government’s flagship schemes in the areas of social security, pensions, scholarships and free medicines and diagnostic tests remains unclear. The Congress had taken strong exception to Ms. Raje, at her rallies, describing free medicines as “poison.”
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has highlighted the significance of mineral-based manufacturing such as cement, ceramics and glass, tourism, IT and IT-enabled services, renewable energy, gems and jewellery, petrochemicals, auto-components and agro-based industries for the State.
In a statement, CII northern region chairman Jayant Davar said the industry body was committed to working with the new government to make Rajasthan a manufacturing hub and the most preferred destination for investors with strong focus on education, water, advancement of sunrise sectors such as wind and solar energy, enhancing skills and employability, access to quality healthcare for all and women’s empowerment.