The Bigger Irony is that Sachin Pilot Speaks on the ‘Irony’ of Rajasthan, targeting Vasundhara government at the completion of 3 successful years in state…
Struggling to maintain its long-lost dignity in Rajasthan, Congress had suddenly found an opportunity to slander CM Vasundhara Raje in the infamous AgustaWestland scams and age-old Lalit Modi controversy. While former CM Ashok Gehlot may have scaled down ‘below the belt’ attacks on the CM, but PCC chief Sachin Pilot has made these controversies a rallying point for Rajasthan state assembly election 2019. Albeit he’s being projected as a potential CM candidate, his ignorance of Rajasthan politics might turn the tables during elections.
Sachin Pilot needs to Perceive Ground Reality with Open Eyes
- AgustaWestland Scam
Quoting Rajasthan govt’s tender wherein CM Raje specifically requested for AW169 helicopter, Pilot accused her for favouring AgustaWestland despite its alleged involvement in corruption. In reality, since the deal was signed by the ruling UPA government in February 2010, Congress has some explanation to do. According to the Italian courts, about Rs. 125 crores were paid in bribes to get this deal done and sources state Ahmed Patel (Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary) received kickbacks from this contract. It’s evident from this that Congress leaders received the perks of AgustaWestland deal.
Why did opposition rope in CM Raje into it? Perhaps because when Rajasthan government opened a single source tender for purchase of new choppers, they requested Agusta’s AW109E models. Actually the older Agusta helicopters used by Rajasthan government crashed during Gehlot’s 10-year tenure, but they were left to rot. Ex-congress government didn’t make any attempts to repair or replace them. When Raje opened tenders for its auction, none of the buyers turned up except Agusta that proposed their lucrative ‘buy-back’ deal. Agusta offered to buy old choppers for 12 crore. In return they would offer discount to Rajasthan on purchase of new helicopters.
Seeing that it would help government cut back 12-crores on the 60crore deal, they went with the proceedings to finalise terms and conditions, ignorant of AW’s scandalous involvement in international controversy.
- Rajasthan Scams and Scandals
Pilot, who ardently blamed Raje for her involvement in Lalit Modi and Aravali mine scandal probably forgot about his own party’s long list of scams. Nagaur and Jodhpur mine scam, Mine allotment scam, Kalisindh Dam, Nagaur lift and Jal Mahal lease are just a few name on this never-ending list. Not to mention that the family members, relatives and friends of high-profile political leaders were illegally allotted lands and mines during 10-year Congress rule. Vaibhav and Sonia Gehlot (Ashok Gehlot’s kids), Robert Vadra (Priyanka Gandhi’s husband), K. Chidambaram (P. Chidambaran’s son) and Pilot himself were involved in several controversies, mainly the 108 Ambulance scam.
- Rapes & Crime against Women
Considering the infamous Sikar minority rape, it isn’t surprising that Rajasthan was not a safe place for women when Congress was in power from 2008 to 2013. According to NCRB’s (National Crime Research Bureau), Rajasthan saw an upward trend in rape incidents with 3,285 cases in 2009-12 (9.8%) which jumped to 35.2% in 2012-13. By the end of his tenure, total 15,094 cases were registered for violence against women. The number doesn’t include the cases that were unregistered.
- Exploitation of SC/ST Communities
In January 2013, CDR (Centre for Dalit Rights) revealed that despite Rajasthan’s Prevention of atrocities against SC&ST Act, Rajasthan stood second on the list of Dalit-atrocities prone state. Until 2011, total 86,386 cases of atrocities against STs and 4,71,717 cases of atrocities against SCs was registered in country. It should be noted in this duration Congress was the ruling power in state as well as centre. Not to mention that trial pendency of these cases was 82.5%. The sad truth is that only 11,682 cases out of 34,127 cases were registered in 2010. Rajasthan had 17 Dalit-atrocity prone districts in 2009 but the Gehlot government refused to acknowledge it.
- MoUs signed by Raje Government.
Out of 470 MoUs (amounting to Rs. 3.38 lakh crores) signed by Raje government during Resurgent Rajasthan, about 5,000 crores have been spent on ground whereas 70% of them are in progress. Direct flights from Jaipur to Singapore (Kamascootra Airlines) was an outcome of Resurgent Rajasthan.
- Raje’s Ambitious Schemes
Apparently Sachin Pilot turned a blind eye to Raje’s development projects in key sectors like roads, safe drinking water, irrigation, agriculture, education, skill development and employment.
Raje, who apparently claimed to construct 20,000 kilometre long roads in Rajasthan came up with ‘Gaurav Path’. Under this scheme, 2000-km long roads connecting villages to cities is under construction. Total budget allotted for this project was Rs. 9,000 crores. Raje government is spending Rs. 4 crores 55 lakh on the construction of 14-km long roads every day. 1963 Gram Panchayats have already been linked via 1720-km long roads worth 748 crores in the first phase of the project. In the second phase, government aims to connect 2,000 Gram Panchayats together. They plan to achieve this target before 2020. As a result of their efforts, Rajasthan is number one in terms of road construction today.
- Drinking Water
Compared to Congress government that spent Rs. 25,000 crores on drinking water with no results, Raje government invested Rs. 12,000 crores in water department for first 2.5 years. Within this time frame, they’d completed 19 out of 24 mega-projects. They’ll aim to finish of remaining 5 projects before 2019. Not only this, they’ve appointed 671 new officers for better management of waterbodies.
Raje government’s ambitious rainwater-harvesting scheme (MJSA) aimed to resolve water crisis permanently by elevating water table levels. Within 6 months of launching, 92,552 water bodies were repaired/restored or constructed in 3,529 villages with a budget of Rs. 1192 crores collected via crowd funding. Water collected in these reservoirs has benefitted 21 lakh villagers and 25 lakh livestock whereas 28 lakh trees planted near these tanks and ponds provide respite to travellers during summers.
- Debts and Settlements
Sachin Pilot, who recently blamed Raje government of putting state under debt supposedly forgot about the colossal 80,000 crore debt that Rajasthan Congress left on DISCOMS. Additionally, an extra 10,000 crore debt was levied on the pay commission due to fiscal mismanagement, meaningless mass recruitments and unaccounted for pension schemes launched by Gehlot government in last few years of his tenure.
Rajasthan witnessed massive reformation under Raje government in education sector. As per state data, there are 9,895 ‘Adarsh’ schools in Rajasthan. 9,610 ‘Utkrisht’ schools for intermediate studies. The government had announced 9895 schools based on Vivekanand model out of which 1340 schools have been constructed and 3970 are in progress. 5458 schools will be completed by next year.
Non-functional ‘ghost’ schools lacking in resources, students or faculty were dissolved and merged with other schools. Resultantly, 15 lakh new students were involved in schools. Also, 12 digital centres were established for e-learning. Moreover, Rajasthan leads in terms of ITI centres at national level. There are 1870 ITIs in Rajasthan (1647 in private sector and 223 in govt sector).
When Raje came to power in December 2013, Raje promised employment opportunities to youth and she had delivered more than half of her promises within just 3 years. The state had employed around 11 lakh youths in private and 1 lakh youths in government sectors. Recently the state had announced 50,000 new jobs for teachers.
- Women Empowerment
Raje government’s Rajshree, Mukhbir, Bhamashah, Aashray and Shubhlakshmi schemes were a blessing in disguise for women. Due to relentless efforts by Raje government, Rajasthan now enjoys high sex ratio (926:1000). Female literacy rate in Rajasthan has upped by 20.3% and child marriages have declined from 46.3% to 25.1% in last 5 years.
Due to current Raje government’s reformatory ideas and pragmatic solutions to existing problems, Rajasthan treads on the path of growth, financial stability and progress. Hopefully, Sachin Pilot will do his homework next time before making an absurd statement in public.