Under the stewardship of Smt Vasundhara Raje, who is justly and conscientiously following Rajdharma, the economic and social status of the common man has risen in the state. Women empowerment being her priority, she proudly pronounces that Rajasthan is now counted among the developed states of the nation, be it in the field of education, agriculture or industry. She is of the firm opinion that value-based politics and morality should be exercised both by the elected representatives and by the common workers who are in the field of politics. She stressed that organisation and government are the two sides of a coin and organisation is the core of the government. After the recently-concluded state executive at Kishangarh, Smt Raje in an exclusive interview to Organiser Correspondent Deepak Kumar Rath explained in detail about the achievements of her government in different fields. Excerpts.
What was your interaction with the organisation in the two-day-long state BJP executive?
Every year on the occasion of birth anniversaries of our ideologues like Syama Prasad Mookerjee (July 6) and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (September 25), we draw inspiration from their noble works and deeds and resolve to emulate them in letter and spirit so as to bring about the welfare of the common man. This year, we have decided to attain the goal of taking the BJP to each and every election booth in the state. I called upon the karyakartas to join the movement in a big way so as to make it a grand success.
I also want to give a message that this pro-people government has done lot of works for aam aadmi in just three and a half years, which the previous government could not achieve even after the completion of five years of its regime. It is, therefore, imperative to make the people acquainted with the developmental works of the government by visiting every nook and corner of the state. And it would be possible only when the state leadership of the party maintains live contacts with the district, mandal and village-level karyakartas. Our government has strictly followed the principles and ideologies of the party, while governing the state, for the last three and a half years.
What are the bases of development activities in the state?
I am happy and feel pride to say that Rajasthan is the epitome of communal harmony in the country. Religion and caste are not the criteria for the development activities in the state. We have given equal opportunities to everyone to climb the ladder of development. We have endeavoured to plug the gap between the poor and the rich and have started plans and programmes for the welfare of every section of the society. In my opinion, there are only two castes, one is female and the other is male. Only when these two progress side-by-side, we can taste the fruits of success.
How can you say that women are at par with men in Rajasthan?
Today, women are doing well in every field like in the field of education, sports and finance. In 2002-03, less than fifty thousand women were engaged in self-service schemes (Swayam Sahayata Samuha). The number now has jumped to 1.36 lakh, out of which ninety-eight thousand samuhas had received loan amounting to Rs 166 crore from the banks. Theses samuhas are working in the fields of agriculture, dairy and handicrafts, to earn their livelihood. We have not only laid emphasis on the financial independence of women; we also have plans to encourage women to work in the field of education and health services. Computer education for girl students and bicycle for Vanvasi girl students are among the few important schemes, which would lead to the women empowerment in Rajasthan.
As the election to the state assembly is nearing, do you think that the government has fulfilled all the promises made in the last election manifesto?
We have fulfilled almost all the commitments made to the people of the state. Today the common man of Rajasthan does not mince words in praising the developmental works undertaken by my government in the last three and a half years, which could not be achieved by the previous governments over the last more than 50 years. We have chalked out strategies to solve the problems of farmers, allocated special packages for Vanvasis, implemented plans for workers from organised and unorganised sectors, formulated policies for former army personnel, handicapped and unemployed persons.
It is alleged that there is no coordination between organisation and government. Comment.
Government and organisation are considered to be the two sides of a coin. Government formulates programmes and policies and karyakartas take them to the people. So, there is no reason that our karyakartas should feel unhappy. In fact, organisation is the roots of our work, and increase of organisational work strengthens government. Organisation is permanent while government is not. So government and organisation should both concentrate on the welfare of the society, and this is called Rajdharma.
What are your expectations from the karyakartas?
I would appreciate to maintain discipline in the party and there should be regular meetings at the district, mandal and village level. There should be regular interaction between the office-bearers and karyakartas of the party to know whether the government projects started for the common man are reaching to them or not. Value-based politics and morality are the basic principle of our party. Moral values are applicable not only for the elected representatives, but for karyakartas too, who are working in active politics.
What have been the priorities of your government for the development of the state?
Our first priority was alleviation of poverty and a hunger-free society. We have adopted Food Stamps and Ration Ticket scheme for the poverty-stricken families. Owing to our government'spolicies, the number of BPL families has lessened from 20 lakh 97 thousand 560 in 1997 to 17 lakh 36 thousand 200. We have re-started recruiting teachers, which was banned during the last government'sregime and employed 55 thousand teachers. We have increased thirty-four thousand seats in higher education and twenty-one thousand seats in technical education, which is far more in compare to the number of previous government'sregime.
What is your message for the people of Rajasthan?
I want to say that this government is committed to follow Rajdharma, and, of course, it is doing so. Under the present government, the economic and social status of the common man has witnessed an upward march. Our mission is to reach to each and every person of the state in the next one year and inform them about our achievements. They are the best judge.