Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched multiple development schemes worth 5500 Cr in Rajasthan, less than seven months before the State Assembly Elections. The project launches on Wednesday, coincided with assembly polling in Karnataka, where Modi appeared on stage with a convivial attitude, sharing it with CM Ashok Gehlot in Nathdwara.
However, in a separate event at Mount Abu, Modi launched a scathing attack against all previous Central governments and the Rajasthan State government. This marks his fifth trip to Rajasthan in the past eight months, which is being viewed as the BJP's launch campaign in the run-up to the forthcoming elections.
The BJP is specifically targeting seats dominated by tribal populace in South Rajasthan. Modi seized every opportunity to criticize his arch rivals on numerous issues, from the largest ever poverty alleviation scam Garibi Hatao to their appeasement policies.
It is worth mentioning that Rajasthan is scheduled to conduct Assembly Elections later this year, since the tenure of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly will conclude on 14 January 2024.
Following the assembly elections held in December 2018, Congress was successful in forming the state government, headed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Caste politics takes center stage in state elections everytime, as SCs and STs hold crucial influence . SCs and STs are the key to success in power struggle between major parties ahead of upcoming polls. Udaipur and Banswara divisions proves essential for political parties vying for power with high concentration of ST seats.
The BJP's attention has sharpened on the 28 assembly seats present in the tribal region of Mewar and Vagad in the aftermath of the party's defeat in the Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad bypolls in 2021. Having previously secured 17 of these seats in the 2018 state elections, the BJP knows that it cannot solely rely on anti-incumbency sentiments against the Gehlot administration in the region for guaranteed success.
Additionally, the emergence of the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), which seized two previous BJP-stronghold seats in Dungarpur and negatively impacted the party's performance in other areas, has destabilized bipolar politics in the region. With the tribal region ranking as the ruling party's second-weakest area, the BJP is eager for a fresh and effective face to succeed veteran Gulab Chand Kataria, recognizing the significance of securing South Rajasthan seats in the 2023 state elections.
Analysis Suggests PM Modi's Visits to Specific Areas in Rajasthan Have Targeted Different Communities Ahead of Polls.
Political analysts have noted Prime Minister Modi's five visits to different areas in Rajasthan over an eight-month period, which seem to have targeted specific communities. These visits are believed to be in preparation for upcoming polls.
In September 2022, PM Modi visited Aburoad in Sirohi, an area completely dominated by tribal community. In November 2022, he visited Banswara Mangarh Dham, another tribal prominent area. In January 2023, the PM visited Asind in Bhilwara, a Gurjar-dominated area. In February, he visited Dausa, a Gurjar-Meena belt. Finally, in May 2023, Modi visited Nathdwara, Rajsamand, and Sirohi again, which are ST-dominant areas.
Based on the communities targeted by each visit, political pundits suggest that the BJP is aiming to woo voters from marginalized communities, such as Dalit, tribes and OBCs. The PM's focus on different communities in each visit could be seen as a strategic move to gain their support in the upcoming polls.
During a rally in Abu Road, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the Congress government in Rajasthan, accusing them of following a policy of appeasement and taking a soft stand against terrorists. He blamed the acquittal of the 2008 Jaipur serial blasts accused on the Congress government's lack of commitment to the case. The PM alleged that the Congress government did not fight the case strongly, leading to the acquittals.
Modi further alleged that there was a complete breakdown of law and order in Rajasthan under Congress’ rule and that the state government is afraid to take action against criminals due to vote bank politics. The PM also took a dig at the Congress infighting, claiming that the chief minister does not trust his MLAs, and they don't trust him.
The PM made a veiled attack on opposition parties, claiming that some people are so full of negativity that they don't want to see anything good happen in the country and only want to create controversy. Modi emphasized that those with negativity neither have a vision nor the capability to think beyond their selfish political aims.
During his speech in Abu Road, PM Modi criticized the Congress party for using the internal disturbance in Sudan to their advantage in the Karnataka assembly election.
He said that some tribesmen who were loyal to Maharana Pratap and fought with him in his army, had relocated to Maharashtra and Karnataka after the Ruler's death. These forest dwellers are known as Hakki-Pikki in Karnataka who make a living by selling herbs and medicinal plants.
Few of these men went to Sudan and South African nations in search of livelihood options.
He claimed that even as India's central government was evacuating the Hakki Pikki tribal community safely from Sudan, the Congress party exposed their nationality by naming them and demanding their security.
Modi alleged that the Congress leaders wanted to use any harm inflicted on the Hakki Pikki community as an opportunity to attack the central government in the Karnataka assembly election. However, he said they did not realize that the Modi-led government would go to any extent to save the citizens of India.
Multiple development projects worth more than Rs 5,500 crore were launched by the PM which is also seen as an attempt to woo voters ahead of the state polls.
Among the projects, the PM laid foundation stones for road construction projects for the upgradation to two-lane in Rajsamand and Udaipur and for the redevelopment of the Udaipur railway station.
He laid the foundation stone for the gauge conversion project and for setting up of a new line from Nathdwara to Nathdwara town in Rajsamand.
The Prime Minister inaugurated three national highway projects, including the 114-km long six-lane Udaipur to Shamlaji section of NH-48, the 110-km long widening and strengthening to 4 lanes with paved shoulder of Bar-Bilara-Jodhpur Section of NH-25, and 47 km long two lanes with paved shoulder section of NH 58E.
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