All the blazing guns fall silent as the electioneering for the 200-member Rajasthan Legislative Assembly polls, scheduled to be held on December 7, came to an end on Wednesday. For the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah led the election campaign along with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Modi alone addressed at least 13 public rallies, the party held 15 roadshows and as many as 222 major public meetings across the state.
For the Congress, its chief Rahul Gandhi led from the front and dominated the party’s election campaign for the December 7 elections. As far as state leaders are concerned, Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot jointly steered the Grand Old Party’s election campaign.
While the Congress party is looking to make inroads into the power corridors of Rajasthan by using the massive anti-incumbency factor against Chief Minister Raje, the BJP is hoping to break the jinx of the state voting the incumbent out with its tried and tested ‘Modi magic’. The BJP also parachuted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to give their campaign a saffron tinge. Yogi, as expected, sparked a row by terming Lord Hanuman a “Dalit”.
However, the speeches were just to grab the eyeballs and fetch people’s attention as much as possible. What matters the most are the promises made by the parties and whether they are reliable enough to be trusted? Although the Congress in its manifesto focused more on farmers and jobs, it also gave space to cows, a move many believe show the party’s shift towards soft Hindutva. On the other hand, the BJP tried to fill in the gaps left in its five-year rule by announcing unemployment allowance to eligible youth above the age of 21 years. The rapidly growing unemployment rate was one of the biggest issues on which the Raje government had to face embarrassment.
So, before you go out to exercise your franchise, let's have a look at the election manifestos of the BJP and the Congress.
BJP Manifesto: Named as 'Gaurav Sankalp', the manifesto of the ruling BJP promised to create over 50 lakh “employment opportunities” (not to be confused with jobs) in the self-employed and private sector. The ruling party promised that it will “try” to build an artificial Inland Port by bringing the waters of the Arabian Sea to Gujarat to Sanchor and Jalore.
Congress Manifesto: Hoping to wrest power from the BJP, the Congress party’s manifesto for the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections promised jobs to youth, free education to women, right to health, among others. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also promised to waive farmers loan within 10 days of coming to power.