Being the largest state in India, Rajasthan has a convoluted socio-economic structure. Diverse cultural backdrops and challenging topography makes it difficult for the government to manage state ordeals. But, then, when a dynamic and influential leader like Vasundhara Raje is the CM of Rajasthan, you can surely expect the extraordinary.
With an enormous fan following of 7,017,354 followers on Facebook and 9,42,000 followers on Twitter, Raje holds 5th position on the top 10 list of most influential media personalities on Facebook (Source: Delhi School of Internet Marketing). As per the recent statistics, she has around 40,59,492 fans online. The analysts predict that in time, Raje will beat Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at this fan-game.
But, what makes Vasundhara Raje a crucial factor in Rajasthan politics? Why do senior BJP leaders rely in her unprecedented abilities to transform Rajasthan? The next couple of paragraphs will answer these questions.
Considering the complicated nature of Rajasthan politics, projecting Raje as the ‘face’ of BJP in state was one of the most politically mature decisions taken by the party high command. Needless to say, Rajasthan BJP reaped rich dividends of this decision in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2013 Vidhan Sabha elections.
Last few years have been hard on this lady, but when one has unconditional blessings and support of the people, neither opponents nor haters matter. The numbers indicate that Rajasthan BJP as delivered its finest victory (163 out of 200 seats) in 2013 Rajasthan state assembly elections under Raje’s leadership. When she was first introduced in 2003, many people doubted her abilities since she wasn’t a ‘Rajasthani’ by birth. Despite being brought up in Delhi, Mumbai and Gwalior, she’s not just well-acquainted with local dialects, but also adept in managing socio-economic and cultural affairs of the state.
During the political campaigns of 2003 and 2013, we saw Raje in a whole new avatar. She shed her royal inhibitions, reached the remotest regions of Rajasthan through her ‘Parivartan Yatra’ and connected with the commoners. In course of this journey, she ditched her air-conditioned car for an ordinary ambassador so that she can work at the grassroots level. It was this masterstroke that made Raje popular among the masses.
Moreover, in last three years, Rajasthan experienced ground-breaking transformation with Raje’s visionary schemes, such as:
- Annapurna Bhandars (futuristic, fair-price Rural Malls),
- Annapurna Rasoi (Mobile food delivery vans serving reasonably priced meals),
- Bhamashah Yojana (Direct delivery of cashless benefits to woman members in every family),
- Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban (Rain water harvesting technology to solve water crisis),
- GRAM (Mechanising agriculture for better agricultural productivity),
- Shubhlakshmi and Rajshree (Ambitious schemes to empower girl child).
There are two aspects of development– economic investments and economic outputs. The World Bank’s yearly report ‘Doing Business’ describes Rajasthan as one of the most ‘investor-friendly’ states in India. Having around 50% to 75% works accomplished out of the 98-point action plan, the state is among the aspiring leaders in terms of development in key sectors like education, infrastructure, transportation, cashless economy and culture.
Boasting a growth percentile of 61% (2015-2016), Rajasthan ranks 6th in the top 10 list of most developed states in India. Naturally, the Raje government has invested rigorous efforts to cause this transformation. The current state of Rajasthan is an inspiring example of how transparent governance and effective administration can work wonders.
Having said this, it isn’t surprising that Vasundhara Raje is one of the rising political leaders of India.