With election campaign in full swing for November 25 polling in Rajasthan, the BJP has reposed its faith in the women voters and farmers. In its manifesto released on Thursday, the party, eyeing its chances in the desert state that has elected an alternate government every five years, is relying on the “Modi guarantee” to fulfil the promises.
As the party has promised similar sops in other states, it also offers clues as to what the BJP would promise during the Lok Sabha elections. Taking a cue from its campaign in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP in Rajasthan has promised several sops for women and girl children from Rs two lakh savings bond on the birth of a girl child to free scooters to meritorious girl students clearing class 12 exams and free education to deserving poor girl students from KG to PG.
With more promises like subsidised cooking gas cylinders at Rs 450, women’s police stations in every district, women’s help desk in every police station, to skill training to six lakh rural women, the party’s focus on women voters is clear.
It is not hard to fathom the reason—of the 5.26 crore voters, 2.51 crore are women. The turnout of women voters has been higher in several areas as they emerge as silent but decisive voters. The saffron party has also made law and order a key election plank owing to number of crimes against women in the state in the recent past.
After women, the BJP has promised big to the state’s farmers. The saffron party promised to double Prime Minister Samman Nidhi assistance to farmers from the current Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000 every year. This provides a strong clue that BJP would promise the same increase during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The farmers have also been promised that the government will procure wheat at Rs 2,700 per quintal which is above the current minimum support price (MSP) by adding bonus. Will the BJP promise the same during Lok Sabha polls, a few months away? By promising higher price for wheat, the BJP has acknowledged the pressure from the farmers who have been asking for higher MSP.
The BJP’s assurance will lead to competitive promises from the other parties too during the Lok Sabha elections. Among other sops, the students from economically weaker section families will get annual assistance of Rs 1,200 to purchase school bags, books, and uniforms.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s pet scheme will get a boost if the BJP is elected to power. The party promised to invest Rs 40,000 crores in the Bhamashah Health mission, a scheme aimed at expanding health infrastructure.
The BJP also promised to investigate the paper leak cases and bring the guilty to book. In these paper leak cases, the youth seeking jobs were severely impacted. The youth are the third large category the BJP has catered to in its manifesto. Over 2.5 lakh government jobs, engineering and medical colleges on the lines of IITs and AIIMS.
As tourism is one of the main employment generating sectors in the state, the party has accordingly promised to train five lakh youth to get self employment even as more money has been promised to develop tourist places.
As the manifesto was released by BJP president J.P. Nadda along with leaders like Raje, state president CP Joshi and leader of opposition, Rajendra Rathore, the BJP has pitched its ‘Modi guarantee’ as a counter to Congress’s guarantees. Whose guarantees carry weight with the voters will be known on December 3.