No anti-incumbency against my govt.: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, Congress government, Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana, IIT, IIM, Congress High Command

Photo: SNS

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has expressed confidence that the Congress would retain power in the state by securing a massive mandate in the Assembly elections, scheduled to be held by the end of the year.

“There is no anti-incumbency against the Congress government in the state despite the fact that the Assembly elections are round the corner. We will beat the anti-incumbency trend for the first time in the state,” he said in an interview to The Statesman.

He claimed that the state government was taking decisions with the aim of providing the maximum relief to the people and the schemes launched by his government were being discussed across the country. ”People in other parts of the country are talking about our schemes, like the Old Pension Scheme and the Right to Health.”


Citing an example, the veteran leader said: “Laws have been made in the state guaranteeing minimum income and the Right to Health, which are not there in any other state in the country. A law has also been made for the welfare and security of Gig workers.”

In February, the state government had announced the decision to raise the coverage amount of its flagship health scheme — Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana — from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh per year per family. “People in the state are happy with the Right to Health Act,” the CM said. Other states were incorporating the schemes of his government in their election manifestos.

Asked about the Centre’s decision to reduce the LPG cylinder price by Rs 200, Gehlot said: “In Rajasthan, we had reduced LPG cylinder price earlier and are providing gas cylinders for Rs 500. In fact, our decision created pressure on the Centre.”

Talking about the education sector, Gehlot said: “All educational institutions in Rajasthan are ahead…there are institutes like IIT, IIM in the state.” He recalled that during his first tenure as the CM, there were a total of six universities in the state. Today there were a total of 96 universities. ”Congress has given good governance to Rajasthan,” Gehlot asserted.

On being asked about his bete noire Sachin Pilot, Gehlot merely said: “The Congress High Command in Delhi has asked everyone to get involved in the preparation for the Assembly elections.”

Taking a dig at the BJP in Rajasthan, Gehlot said, “We (Congress) are united but they (BJP) have not been able to even identify their CM face yet.”

Gehlot claimed that there was infighting in the BJP in the state and the party’s own MLA Kailash Chandra Meghwal had recently spoken against the country’s law minister. “There are 25 BJP MPs from Rajasthan but what have they done for the state?” he asked.

The CM also expressed his gratitude to the Congress High Command for reposing faith in him, pointing out that there were very few people who have become the CM of a state thrice.

“Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi gave me an opportunity to serve as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and my biggest asset of the life is that the Congress High Command has faith in me,” Gehlot said.

“Now, it’s my duty to win the Rajasthan Assembly elections for the Congress and I am fully engaged in election work,” he said.

Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government, Gehlot said democracy was in danger under the current dispensation at the Centre. He accused the Centre of misusing central agencies against those opposed to the Modi government.