Polls around the corner & it’s raining sops | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Polls around the corner & it’s raining sops

jaipur Updated: Aug 12, 2008 23:35 IST
KS Tomar

The Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan plans to clear important policy decisions and populist schemes before the Election Commission announces dates for assembly elections in the state.

A meeting of the state cabinet has been called in Bikaner on Wednesday to beat the model code of conduct which comes into force once elections are announced. Polls are due in the state in November.

The cabinet is expected to approve execution of a Rs 72 crore scheme to supply saffron-coloured bags to students in all 40,000 government schools across the state.

Other decisions include a scheme to provide cheap plots of land to the urban poor, implementing a five-day week in state government offices and a fresh DA instalment to please seven lakh state government employees.

The BJP government also plans to create new municipalities, corporations and sub-divisions in Rajasthan.

AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said the government's plan to buy 67 lakh schoolbags is a big scandal in itself.

State Congress chief CP Joshi demanded a high level probe into the supply of the schoolbags, which he said was a "crude attempt" by the government to publicise the BJP's agenda.

State BJP chief OP Mathur however said the government wants to encourage children to attend school and help them.

"The colour of the bag will not make any difference to the students," Mathur said.

The Raje government has also decided to target poor urban voters. To address the housing problem, the state cabinet is likely to give plots to poor urban citizens at Rs 37,000 per plot in urban areas.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister and government spokesman Rajendra Singh Rathore said, "the Election Commission has not announced the polls dates, hence the code of conduct has not come into force in the state. There is nothing illegal if the state government takes some pro-people decisions prior to poll dates being announced."