As high-voltage campaigning for the Rajasthan Assembly elections came to a close on Wednesday evening, the two main rivals – the ruling Congress party and opposition BJP – engaged in a bitter battle of words, attacks and counter-attacks to win over the 4.95 crore electorate before polling day on November 25.
PM Modi Sharpens Attack on Congress
Over Women’s Issues Addressing an election rally in Deogarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a blistering attack on the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government, claiming it was the “most anti-women regime” in the history of Rajasthan – a state otherwise known for valour and sacrifices of historical female figures like Rani Padmini and Meerabai.
Citing data from NCRB 2021, Modi pointed out that Rajasthan has the highest number of rape cases against women, almost twice as many as Uttar Pradesh. He asked if the state’s women are not ready to “tolerate” Congress rule for another five years.
Hitting Back, CM Gehlot Alleges BJP Conspiracy
Hitting back, CM Ashok Gehlot held an urgent press meet in Jaipur alleging that BJP has been conspiring to trap the Congress government in false corruption cases with tacit help from central probe agencies like ED ever since the party came to power in Rajasthan in 2018.
As per a survey by ABP-C Voter in November, inflation remains a top concern among voters in Rajasthan followed by unemployment. Gehlot government’s track record on these fronts has come under sharp criticism from BJP leaders like Modi, Amit Shah and Vasundhara Raje.
Home Minister Exudes Confidence on Jaipur Visit
Coinciding with PM’s rally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also addressed a Vijay Sankalp rally at Jaipur’s Jamdoli on the last day of campaigning. Accusing Congress of dynastic politics, corruption and appeasement, Shah exuded confidence that Lotus will bloom in the desert state as people are troubled after 5 years of misgovernance.
As per political analyst Rasheed Kidwai, while BJP may have an edge due to anti-incumbency against Congress, the results will be influenced by factors like rebel candidates. BJP rebels are contesting as independents on 12 seats won by Congress with slender margins in 2018.
Congress Populism in Manifesto to Woo Voters
Sensing an uphill task, Congress left no stone unturned in its campaign and manifesto promises including further subsidy on LPG cylinders from Rs1068 presently to Rs 400 per cylinder, a highly popular move, if fulfilled.
Congress also announced a slew of measures like old pension schemes, jobs for 10 lakh youth, free electricity for farmers, loan waivers and focus on healthcare and education. BJP too vowed measures to curb corruption, empower women and boost the state’s economy in its manifesto titled ‘Lok Sabha 2023 Sankalp Patra’.
Now Over To 4.95 Crore Voters of Rajasthan
As the bitter campaign drew to a close on Wednesday evening, election officials stated that no further public rallies or road shows will be allowed until the conclusion of polling on December 3 across 200 assembly seats. The results are scheduled to be announced on December 3, which will determine if the Gehlot-led Congress gets another shot or makes way for the Modi-Shah combine to breach the Congress fort. For now, it’s over to the voters.