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Have been able to say ‘sadak, bijli, paani’ for the first time, says CM Vasundhara Raje on her 40-day Rajasthan tour

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who is in the middle of a 40-day Gaurav Yatra across the state, is seeking support based on her government’s development initiatives.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Aug 07, 2018 13:56 IST
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Vasundhara Raje,development,Rajasthan election
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje at Jothri village, in Dungarpur, Rajasthan.(Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje is in the middle of a 40-day Gaurav Yatra, which will cover 165 of the 200 assembly constituencies in the state, in the hope that it will strengthen her connect with the masses, energise party workers, and offset a negative perception about the government in the run up to this year’s assembly elections.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Raje talked about the feedback she has got, her chances of returning to power, and her relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central leadership, among other issues. Edited excerpts:

Why did you feel the need to do the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra?

It has taken courage to go on the road and check the work done. People can be harsh. People’s happiness level is most important. If you are able to ensure that, you have succeeded. I went out with nervousness to see how things are on the ground. It’s quite a risky thing but if you don’t, you will never know and can’t make changes.

How was the yatra planned?

I am (seeking a mandate) on the development plank, so I have to find out what work has been done. The 60 constituencies I toured (before launching the yatra), was like a tryout to see the response. Then we took it to another level at the Prime Minister’s meet (in Jaipur), where 3,00,000 beneficiaries turned up. Then I gained the confidence that I have a definite base on which I can go out and ask this question.

What has been the response?

You can see for yourself. Before this, no one has asked the people what they want. Development is imposed on them from the top. It’s their money and we have to do it right.

Do you think you will be able to change the trend of government’s changing every five years in Rajasthan?

Yes. I am confident we will return to power because of the work we have done.

You tried to introduce PPP model in several areas but it was not well received.

It worked in the health sector. We are doing pilots, which we can scale up later. People don’t understand it and you can’t impose it. It has to happen with their support, you can’t push it.

The Opposition claims you are inaccessible?

(They should) see how you have worked. If you shut your door at a particular time, you are called inaccessible. If, on the other hand, you leave your door open, then you are fast and loose, you can’t win.

There has been speculation that you have differences with the BJP central leadership.

That is nothing but mere conjecture. We are working unitedly to bring the BJP to power in Rajasthan and at the Centre.

You have said it is difficult to please people as their aspirations have increased.

It’s not wrong to have aspirations. After 60 years, people are still asking for basic necessities. For the first time, I’ve been able to say sadak, bijli, pani (roads, electricity, water) done.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 04:58 IST