Ahead of the Rajasthan assembly elections, the Union Minister for Jal Shakti and Lok Sabha MP, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, speaks to The New Indian, shedding light on the upcoming elections, discussing his political journey, his commitment to the Bhartiya Janta Party, and the key issues facing the state.
Urvashi: As Rajasthan is going for its elections in a couple of days, we have seen that the BJP has released its Sankalp Patra which the incumbent Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that the manifesto is just a mere manipulation of what the Congress had come up with. What is your take on that?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: This is not only a Sankalpa Patra but also the vision of the BJP when we come to power with a thumping majority.
Ashok Gehlot’s government, it has failed utterly to deliver. what they have made during 2018 elections when they were contesting for assembly with the farmers, to the youth, to the female, to the citizens of Rajasthan, to the poor people they have literally and utterly failed to deliver. And since they have failed and they know this fact that they have failed to deliver four and a half years of the government, they were compelled to make different announcements in the form of guarantees through the Mahangai Raj Shivirs. All the guarantees including free electricity, Annapurna Kids, everything has failed.
EXCLUSIVE ONLY ON THE NEW INDIAN |
In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) proclaimed that BJP will register a thumping victory in #RajasthanElections2023. He alleged that Congress has set new benchmark of corruption… pic.twitter.com/dwLQtT8UTi
— The New Indian (@TheNewIndian_in) November 18, 2023
The Congress government had promised the people during the 2018 elections that they would not increase electricity rates but they have increased it over nine times. Even the Rajasthan High Court said that the Gehlot government was looting from the consumers in the name of surcharge. The state government has clearly failed. This has also affected farmers who were supposed to get 2000 units for free while providing Rs 10,000 subsidy through the Mahindra Rajshivir scheme. The Congress government discontinued it for five years and then provided an electricity subsidy for agriculture of only Rs 2000. This also led to numerous crop failures, which also indicates that the Rajasthan government failed them.
Urvashi Khona: Do you feel that there is any kind of friction between the senior leaders in the state and the central leadership which may have erupted somewhere on ground?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: There is no factionalism in Bharatiya Janata Party. There is a friction among the common Congress leaders since the inception of this government, and because of that factionalism which was there between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the people of Rajasthan have suffered a lot for five years because the priority for the Congress leaders was saving their seats or winning their seats. While they were fighting for their seats, the people of Rajasthan wept tears of blood.
Urvashi Khona: But, in fact, Priyanka Gandhi yesterday said that it is the Congress that is united, while the BJP has been divided.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: These types of statements were made several times during the last five years, but the people of Rajasthan understand why and how they are being made.
Urvashi Khona: Sir, while going through the constituency, be it Sardarpura and otherwise, I’ve seen there have been a lot of slogans with respect to Ram and Sanatan Dharam and a united Hindu country in India. How do you think these factors are making a change on the ground that people have pinned high hopes on BJP in all of this?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: The Congress government in Rajasthan to consolidate their vote bank has done the politics of appeasement and it was observed very clearly that Ashok Gehlot, to consolidate his vote bank, is doing appeasement politics. And whatever slogans and things you are observing here in this campaign, in the BJP’s camps, those are a reaction to the government policies and acts that were done in the last five years.
Urvashi Khona: So, you know, that the Sardarpura constituency is Ashok Gehlot’s constituency and is very important as a stronghold. You were the only person to break his stronghold, not once, but twice as a member of parliament. So, this time around, how do you see the events unfolding there in Sardarpura?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: See the Sardarpura election though it’s not very comfortable, it’s not very difficult either. I’m sure that the people of Sardarpura, this time around will not elect Ashok Gehlot to power again because they have understood that the BJP is coming to power. So, they should rather elect a leader who will remain with them through their moments of joy as well as through their tough times.
Urvashi Khona: The Congress’ Red Diary has also come up a lot during the elections. Can you provide some insight on that?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: It’s the documented corruption by a Congress leader but it’s not only one diary. The government of the date, the Ashok Gehlot government, has reached new benchmarks of corruption in the state of Rajasthan. It is not just a Laal Diary. I think there should be a Peeli Diary, Kaali Diary, which lists all the corruption done by the government.
Urvashi Khona: Am I speaking to the upcoming CM face of the state?
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: In BJP, its not the person who decides all these things. It is the party leadership which takes the final call on who is going to work where and in what capacity.