The BJP’s claims of retaining power in Rajasthan, which would have been the first in three decades, fell flat on Tuesday with the Congress emerging as the party with the most seats, and much closer to forming the government
In the previous 2013 elections, the BJP had strode to power with a thumping mandate, winning 163 of the 200 assembly seats on the promise of creating one million jobs a year and a better price to the farmers for their produce. Political analysts Tuesday said the people eventually lost faith in the government and its policies.
Sociologist Rajiv Gupta said at the end of the BJP’s tenure, “all sections of the society had developed deep-rooted resentment against the government’s policies and programmes”.
“Large sections of farmers and working class were against (the government) over the amendments made in the Factories Act and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, as well as the non-implementation of the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission,” he said.
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Gupta also said that frequent changes in the syllabus “angered” the student community, while crimes of lynching gave an impression that the saffron party was not doing much to prevent them. “There was no dialogue between the chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) and her people. People’s issues were not addressed properly,” he said.
Overall, Gupta said, the anti-incumbency factor, the increasing crime rate and what he termed as a “nexus” of the bureaucracy, the ministers and the industrialists led to the results against the BJP.
Political analyst Narayan Bareth said while the BJP failed to keep its promise, the Congress “gave a new hope”. “Their promises of loan waiver, unemployment allowance, which the BJP too had promised (in its election manifesto) connected with the youth who supported the Congress,” he said.
Bareth said the BJP’s loss in the bypolls in February should have sent alarm bells. “If they had corrected a few things at the time, the results could have been different,” he said.
Bareth said although the Congress could had done better, the party’s campaign and its ticket distribution was not good. “Voters had made up their mind but the scenario changed (during the campaign), which is evident with the number of independent candidates who won. The confusion in the leadership and no clear assurance to the marginalised section were reasons that diverted the Congress’ votes (to the independents and other parties). The Congress should have announced its chief ministerial candidate like it had in Punjab.”
State Congress president Sachin Pilot said the state and central governments had failed to live up to the expectations of the people. “It was betrayal of trust, despite such a mandate (in 2013 and 2014). The Congress party offered a better alternative under the leadership of AICC chief Rahul Gandhi – the party fought for five years and was on the streets. It is the hard work of Congress leaders and workers that has pushed the party to this position,” he said.
“It is not just a political victory but it is also the victory of the kind of sentiments that people want to see. They do not want to see a debate on religious lines, do not want see a debate on mandir-masjid, but want to talk about jobs, agricultural prices, price rise, inflation, corruption and those are the issues that the BJP avoided to talk about and that is why they (BJP) have been punished,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said the BJP government “had worked for all sections of the society”. “We fulfilled 95% of the promises made in 2013 and worked for development. We will assess where we went wrong,” he said.
First Published: Dec 12, 2018 16:35 IST
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