Ram Kumar Kaushik
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to set the tone for assembly elections while presenting the budget on February 10. The promises and announcements in the budget will be closely watched by Prime minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Dausa to inaugurate Delhi Mumbai Express way and other railway projects on February 12 – exactly two days after Gehlot announces poll sops to woo voters for the next assembly elections.
Since Modi's programme succeeds Gehlot's budget announcements, the Prime Minister will have an edge over the Chief Minister. Modi will have extra 48 hours to prepare and cook something better than what Gehlot would serve on the budget platter. Gehlot knows the importance of this budget and he will not leave any stone unturned. He will have to work little harder this time as Modi has the chance to play later and better the antics of Gehlot.
Gehlot has already promised that the budget will focus on youth, jobs and social security. Experts believe that the budget provisions this time will be no less than poll manifesto with tall promises and herculean tasks.
Modi on the other hand will try to project the express way as the highway to prosperity for people living along the express way. He would use all his oratory skills to showcase the path to development and the need to bring double engine government in Rajasthan to keep up the tempo.
Gehlot, however, would put brake on Modi's drive on Express Way by taking up the issue of Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) – an ambitious project that would provide irrigation and drinking water to 13 districts. The central government has failed sri make any commitment on the project Gehlot has been slamming union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who entered the Lok Sabha defeating Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot from Jodhpur. The political rivalry between the two has taken a new dimension
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