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You can’t just sit in drawing rooms and forecast our loss: Raje

There is no anti-incumbency, only mala fide perceptions, claims Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Amidst a tight campaigning schedule, Raje, in a candid chat told TOI’s Palak Nandi that she is confident that the state BJP will cross the hump of deliberately propagated wrong perceptions by the opposition to retain power. Excerpts:
There is a general perception that there is an anti-BJP wave in Rajasthan and that it will not be elected back to power.
I don’t think there is any “sacchai” in them. They are deliberately propagated mala fide perceptions. You can’t sit in drawing rooms and make such baseless perceptions. When you go to the field, you don’t see these perceptions holding true. People respond very naturally to all the things that have happened, are happening. They understand, it has never happened before. There has been a turnaround and it is in our favour. That said, I admit that this is one hump we need to cross and we will be on the smooth path again.
Isn’t everything going against the BJP — the survey reports, satta markets?
They have changed now.
Changed enough for BJP to get the necessary figures?
I told you in January that we will win this election and I stand by it even today. Everybody, including the media, is just making assumptions. Yes, the bypolls were a slight setback but everything happens for the best. It brought out all the passive party workers and elected representatives in those areas and others. Even the initial surveys were over the top, and the deeper we went into areas, the better results they have yielded.
The anti-incumbency factor cannot be overlooked…
But, there is no anti-incumbency factor as such. There were complaints against several MLAs and we have replaced 97 faces. That is half our strength in the assembly and a huge figure for that matter. We have provided what people wanted — a fresh thinking and a fresh look.
What are the three main issues in this election?
First and foremost, what a government delivers. ‘Vikas’ (development) is the main agenda. Women and youth is another and we have the farmers. These are issues we have been concentrating on.
But, Congress has also focused on the same issues in its manifesto.
Congress is simply picking up from whatever we have done and calling it their own. I see every morning that Mr (Ashok) Gehlot, in his speeches, narrates them as very smart schemes of his government. If that was the case, Congress would have won the last elections. It has promised to waive farm loans within 10 days of coming to power, without mentioning from where the money is going to come. Why did you (Congress) not do that in the several decades that you were in power? The announcement has come when we have already waived individual farmers’ loans of up to Rs 50,000.

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