My government has been proactive and has taken several new initiatives, says Vasundhara Raje.
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, in an interview with Shahshi Bhushan, claimed that her government does not support vigilantism and virtually pooh-poohed the Aam Aadmi Party’s attempts to make a debut in Rajasthan Assembly polls.
Recently the Centre banned the sale of cattle for slaughter. Is this ban going to affect the livelihood of people in Rajasthan?
People in Rajasthan keep cattle for personal use and do not sell cattle for slaughter. It will not have any impact in the state. In our state people are more skilled than the rest of the country. We have done a lot of work for skill development. It has nothing to do with livelihood in our state.
Recently, in Alwar, cow vigilantes killed Pehlu Khan and in Ajmer Sikhs were attacked when they went to collect grains for langars in gurdwara...
Our government does not support such acts. In the Alwar incident, the accused were arrested and chargesheeted. The state government swung into action in the Ajmer incident. Similar cases take place all across the country, but people with vested interest try to blame our state. Our government is here to protect citizens irrespective of caste, colour, religion or region. In Kerala, attacks are openly carried out against RSS and BJP workers. No action is taken against the culprits.
Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is making its debut in Rajasthan in the next year Assembly polls. How do you see the AAP’s presence in the state?
India is a democratic country and everyone has the right to contest elections. If they are planning to make their debut in Rajasthan, I welcome them, but their fate will be decided by the people of the state. In the recent Assembly polls in Punjab and Goa, the AAP has been taught a lesson. They will meet a similar fate in Rajasthan too.
There’s one-and-a-half year to go for Assembly polls in your state. Are you confident of winning? Have you fulfilled the election promises?
We are confident of returning to power yet again. My government has been proactive and has taken several new initiatives. We have fulfilled virtually all the promises made in the election manifesto. Our government is working round-the-clock to improve the condition of people. In our manifesto we had promised 20,000 km roads. The pace at which we are going, the Rajasthan government will be able to build about 30,000 km of roads before the polls. The active Centre, active state machinery and active party unit are all working in tandem.
What are your so-called achievements, and with elections approaching, don’t you think anti-incumbency will hit your government?
Elections are held on the basis of performance. We have performed. It’s a people’s government. Earlier there was a perception that the government was “mai-baap” and people of the state were not involved. We have changed all of that. Today people are actively participating in government initiatives and the change is visible. Unlike others, we’ve been holding constant dialogue with the people.
In the past three-and-a-half years, what have been your key initiatives?
Our government has started numerous projects in the education sector, power reforms, delivery of justice at doorsteps of citizens through “Nyay Aapke Dwar” programme and water conservation via Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan (MJSA). We ensured better power supply by bringing in reforms in the sector by involving local citizens. All the initiatives started by the state government are a huge success due to people’s participation. For MJSA, people involved helped the government in selecting and identifying location for construction of water conservation tanks; they also did “sharm daan” (voluntary labour) for construction and maintenance of these tanks.
Similarly, for ensuring better power supply, the government had requested people to minimise wastage of electricity as a result of which we were able to bring down the transmission and distribution losses to about 15 per cent from 58 per cent. People’s participation has helped us immensely in improving power supply in the state.
Through “Nyay Aapke Dwar” initiative, our government started delivery of justice at the doorstep of citizens to resolve cases related to property disputes which had been pending for years.