Last week BJP government in Rajasthan organised a function at Amroodon Ka Bag, a sprawling ground between Vidhan Sabha Bhawan and the secretariat in Jaipur, to mark the completion of four years of BJP rule in the state. Though the function was official one, the party used the occasion to showcase the popularity of the government as well as of the party among the masses.
The function provided an opportunity to the party to show its strength. Chief Minister Smt Vasundhara Raje and state party president Shri Mahesh Sharma consulted the senior party colleagues and it was decided to mobilise the party workers to make the rally a grand success. In each district, party functionaries were given the targets. Over all target for the rally was fixed at four lakh.
Since it was a major occasion, senior central party leaders, including former Deputy Prime Minister Shri L.K. Advani and party president Shri Rajnath Singh willingly accepted the invitation of Smt Vasundhara Raje to come to Jaipur and address the rally. She told them that this was going to be the biggest-ever rally held in the state capital. True to her words, the turnout at the rally was mammoth. There may be dispute about the actual number of people, who participated in the rally, but even opponents have conceded that this was the biggest rally held at the ground, which had witnessed many such rallies in the past.
This prompted Shri Advani and Shri Rajnath Singh to declare that next assembly election would be fought under the leadership of Smt Vasundhara Raje. They said that in short period of its rule, the achievements of the BJP government, under the leadership of Smt Vasundhara Raje, were remarkable. The state has come out from the list of BIMARU states and is emerging as a major hub for investment. They also said that the BJP government in Rajasthan could serve as a model state for other BJP-ruled states.
The main opposition Congress party during all these years tried its level best to launch a major agitation against the government. It held protest rallies and meetings here and there at times, but it could hardly launch any major offensive against the government. There were suggestions that party should held a counter rally in the state capital on the same day, when BJP would be celebrating four years of its government. The Pradesh Congress Committee president Shri C.P. Joshi, who is known as a practical and no-nonsense type of Congress leader, was not sure whether party would be able to put up a matching show. So instead of organising a rally at the state capital, Congress party decided to organise rallies and dharnas at block headquarters.
Though Shri Joshi claimed that turnout in these rallies and dharnas was good, according to internal assessment of the party, it was much less than the expectations. This has exposed the Congress party'sclaim that there was resentment among the masses against the BJP government.