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Rajasthan facing a deep financial crisis: Sachin Pilot

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Sachin Pilot
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Jaipur: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Rajasthan was facing a debt crisis because of its financial mismanagement and its functioning had led to severe stress on the agrarian sector, a senior functionary of the opposition Congress said.

“You (Vasundhara Raje government) spent two years criticising the previous Congress government, but this time there is financial mismanagement. There is absolutely no roadmap of getting the agrarian economy back on track,” Sachin Pilot, state president of the Congress, told IANS in an interview here.

“You are also shutting down social welfare schemes of the previous government, privatising everything and putting up a facade of ‘Resurgent Rajasthan’, where you claim lakhs of crores of investments coming into the state,” Pilot, 37, who completed two years as state Congress president on Thursday, claimed.

“Today, the state government is on the brink of a financial breakdown. It is having to extend overdraft limits to pay government salaries. The irony is that the BJP claims that it has lifted Rajasthan out of BIMARU state category. If that is the case, then why is the government coffers empty?” he asks rhetorically.

BIMARU is the epithet used in the past to denote economically weak states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and (erstwhile) Uttar Pradesh.

Pilot also said the BJP-alliance ruled central government was giving “stepmotherly treatment” to Rajasthan.

He said that the state government is not getting money for farmers’ relief while Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat had, adding that Rajasthan was suffering because of differences between the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP government’s performance, he contended, could be gauged from declining vote share in every successive elections. “The BJP polled 56 percent in the Lok Sabha elections and in local body elections now their vote share is 47 percent. Congress polled 30 percent share in Lok Sabha polls and our vote share in local body election was 45 percent. So the vote share difference is hardly anything now,” he said.

He said there was a feedback across the state that the ruling BJP “has lost credibility and lost faith of the people.”

Pilot said he had toured over 1.30 lakh kilometres in the state in the last two years with an aim to boost morale of the party workers which was shaken after the party suffered one of its worst defeats in both the assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

“It is often said that those who sweat in peace time don’t bleed in war. I don’t think we should wait for elections to get the party machinery geared up. You have to travel. You have to interact, talk and connect to people. I like small meetings to reach out to people when there is no election. Election campaigns are different,” Pilot said.

The Rajasthan Congress chief said his two years on the post had been a challenging time but also rewarding to some extent.

“When I began, we were trying to come back from the most severe defeat the Congress had ever faced in an assembly election. We hardly had 21 MLAs out of 200 in the state. To come out of that shadow took some time and lot of hard work.”

The Congress now has 24 MLAs in 200-member assembly after wins in by-polls.

He rubbished reports of factionalism within the party, saying he had been quite “fortunate and lucky” to get support and guidance from the senior leaders in the party.

“We work for a commonality of objective which is that Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi and Rahulji want us to be in a position to serve the people of Rajasthan in 2018. I don’t think we could have been this strong in less than two years had it not been for their support and collective effort of everybody in Rajasthan,” Pilot said.

“People judge a party by its performance – whether in the government or opposition. Our performance in the opposition has been quite remarkable. We have been able to win the peoples’ heart and mind”, claimed Pilot. (IANS)

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at anil.s@ians.in)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)