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Rajasthan is not the state Delhi media has made it to be, says CM Raje

Vasundhara Raje, who completes four years as Rajasthan’s chief minister amid a spiralling controversy over cow-related crimes, says there’s more to the state than that.

jaipur Updated: Dec 13, 2017 09:50 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan,Vasundhara Raje,Cow vigilantism
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje at the chief minister’s office in Jaipur December 12, 2017. (Himanshu Vyas\ HT Photo)

As she settles down after a cabinet meeting, which, among other things, decided to amend the Bovine Act to allow exporting calves aged two years or older to states where slaughter is banned, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje takes out time to talk to Rakesh Goswami on four years of her government and the dent that the image of the state has taken because of the cow-related crimes in recent past. Excerpts:

Q: The image of Rajasthan has taken a beating in the recent past because of certain crimes. Are you concerned about it?

A: I am saddened. More because Rajasthan is not the state that some outsiders have made it out to be. People who wrote about such cases never bothered to come down to Rajasthan to find out the truth. A certain section of the Delhi media paints the state in bad light. I know the reason but it’s not worth mentioning.

Q: But there have been Pehlu Khans and Ummar Mohammads in the state. Isn’t it?

A: Yes, there have been crimes and there has been police reaction. Tell me in which case the police did not react swiftly and with sensitivity. Rajsamand was a deplorable act. I sent the DGP to visit the spot and meet the people on ground. We announced a compensation for the family of Afrazul which is more than what his own state announced. In Pehlu Khan case, we began arresting the culprits the same day. The crimes will happen everywhere; what matters is the state’s reaction.

Q: Why is there so much unrest in the state? The doctors are on strike, employees also not working and the farmers recently organized a massive protest.

A: We have done for them what no other state has done. But there’s politics involved. You know this is going to be the election year and politics will play out in everything. The farmers have got more than they could get through farm loan waivers. They need to understand that what they are getting it many more times more than a waiver. At the end of the day, everyone’s entitled to their right to protest but I can tell you that there’s no unrest in the state.

Q: The employees don’t seem happy with the implementation of the 7th pay commission.

A: I have always believed that the employees are any government’s backbone. Whenever they have been in problem, I have tried my best to help them. You would reckon that our government implemented the 6th pay commission. Some states have not even implemented the 7th pay commission; we have implemented it and have also announced arrears. But employees should also keep in mind the state’s financial resources. They are part of my family.

Q: Is Gujjar reservation an issue you haven’t been able to tackle? The courts have struck down your bills.

A: We are committed to giving Gujjars benefit of reservation within the Constitution limits.

Q: You wrote to the censor board over protests on Padmavati. You even banned the release in the state.

A: My priority is to maintain law and order and peace in my state. If something is hurting a community’s sensibilities and banning a film will restore peace in the state, isn’t banning a better decision. Why should I allow one community to cause inconvenience for others in the name of protest? As a state, we must be sensitive to issues that have the potential of disturbing state’s peace.

Q: There have been reports that you may be called to Centre and replaced here with someone else. Any truth in this?

A: Such reports circulated in my previous regime, too. This time also I have been hearing them from friends like you. Rajasthan is my karm bhoomi (workplace). I will never back off from maintaining the releationship that I have with Rajasthan. Jeena yahan, marna yahan, iske siwa jana kahan (I will live here, die here, where else to go?)

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First Published: Dec 13, 2017 07:58 IST