Feel Good Factor Is Back In Rajasthan: BJP

Jaipur | Updated: Mar 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Rajasthan chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, celebrated her first 100 days in the power with claims of bringing back the feel good factor in the state and undoing the many wrongs of the previous Congress government.

As a pointer towards the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, the BJP government under Ms Raje claimed, amongst others things, to have turned the tables on the Congress in many ways than one.

Crucial among these is providing 8 hours of continuous electricity to the agriculture sector and 6 hours to the rural areas; bonus to government employees; amalgamation of 50 per cent of dearness allowance with basic as well as provisioning for 31,000 jobs.

Also in the BJP governments tally of achievements is the withdrawal of the stay on new appointments put by the earlier government of teachers; free education till twelfth class for girls; approvals for several new hospitals and medical centres apart from the general improvement in law and order.

On the economic front, the Raje government claimed to have spurred up economic growth and has taken steps to cut back debt of Rs 55,000 crore accrued to the state exchequer during the Congress rule.

BJPs state president, Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi, proudly claims of having enhanced the annual plan allocation for the state and recovering several crores of rupees owed by the Centre to the state .

Reduction in interest rates for loans for the small scale sector, scrapping of entry tax on textiles and other essential commodities, upgradation approval for five new highways totalling to 990 kilometres are also in the 100 day report card.

Needless to say, even the recent oil discoveries in the Barmer district of the state seem to figure in the Raje governments achievement and are going all around trumpeting this as a triumph over the previous Congress governments achievements which had failed to tap this black gold.

The Rajasthan government now claims to make the state one of the top oil producers in the country and over the coming years would make the cash registers start ringing.

The happiness from her governments performance in the state was clearly written on peoples faces, Ms Raje said. The barometer (of satisfaction) from her government read high amongst the people, she replied when asked about the feel good factor in the state soon after she returned from her thanksgiving yatra from the Shekhawati region.

Shrugging aside the usual anti-incumbency debate, the chief minister said that there was no question of anti-incumbency eating into BJPs seats from Rajasthan as the BJP government had performed well and the people were satisfied with her government.

But that may be a miscalculation, says Congress leader and leader of Opposition BD Kalla. A governments performance cannot be judged in 100 days, its too short a period he adds.

Not to be outdone, the Congress has started a campaign to expose BJPs feel good as a misnomer. The 100 day programme has become a favourite platform of the new chief minister for floating populist packages, says former industry minister Dr Chandrabhan. In fact Congressmen question the very rationale of a CM holding as many as 16 departments all under her. They wonder what attention she could give to these departments as she is outside the state most of the days.

Vasundhara Raje seems unfazed by such criticism. Her typical reaction to which way the votes would go is: Just wait and see.