By B S Reporter
It's advantage Congress in the next elections. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has not only managed to hold the party well but also has produced a budget which has caught the fancy of people. The schemes like 100 unit free power, free ration kit, Rs 25 lakh health insurance and subsidised gas cylinders have immediately created positive sentiments among voters. His ‘crusade' for old pension scheme for government employees has now become a movement in every part of the country.
The popularity of Gehlot and his schemes is likely compensate the infighting in the party, which is apparently divided in two camps. The other camp led by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot may not sway much influence but has the potential to damage the party and its prospects in small pockets.
The fissure could have been more lethal had the opposition been united. The BJP has its own share of problems and perhaps the party is facing worst of the infighting in recent past.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje who had been the undisputed face of the party for last 20 years is being challenged by many leaders in the party. While the state president Satish Punia is a known Raje rival, union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore have their own camps. The strong emergency of another face from the royal family – Diya Kumari, who is parliamentarian from Rajsamand – has just further complicated the situation. Many party members are also betting on Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to be the next CM.
Amid such uncertainty in BJP and apparently weaker Sachin camp, Gehlot stands a good chance to repeat his government. The challenge for Gehlot, however would be to maintain seats in Gujar-Meena dominated east Rajasthan where the party had won 43 out of 46 seats. For that Gehlot has already played the Eastern Rajasthan Project Canal (ERCP) card which is aimed at benefiting people across 13 districts.
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