All roads lead to Rajasthan! With just three days left for the election campaign to end in Rajasthan before the November 25 polling, political parties have deployed their big guns in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief J.P. Nadda lead the charge from the BJP side, while Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are going all out to ensure that the Congress retains power.
The BJP is targetting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot government for corruption, poor law and order, and the paper leak issue. Modi is expected to address six rallies and hold a roadshow, while Shah and Nadda will tour the state for the next three days to oversee the campaign and the last minute strategising to counter the Congress. The heavy turnout in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh could spell trouble for the ruling parties in both states. The BJP will aim to improve the turnout in Rajasthan so that it does well in the closely fought seats. There are several seats where rebel candidates from the BJP and the Congress are contesting as independents. Ensuring a good turnout of their core voters will be key to the final tally in the December 3 counting.
Addressing the rally in Rajasthan on Monday, Modi said if elected to power the BJP will reduce the petrol prices in the state like other BJP-ruled states, and increase the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi from Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000 per year. The BJP has given its own set of guarantees to counter those given by the Congress. The BJP is calling its election promises as Modi guarantees.
The BJP is banking on the Modi magic to win the election as it has not projected a chief ministerial face. There are several CM hopefuls in the state who would be in the race to become CM after the results. The BJP expects to win the state owing to the anti-incumbency. The collective leadership is a double-edged strategy. It can confuse the electorate about the CM face while enhancing the chances of good performance in the areas of the hopefuls. The final tally would decide on the CM face.
On the other hand, Congress is banking on Gehlot, citing the welfare work done during his regime.