Ashok Gehlot on ‘no bigger achievement’, four years of government in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is among several states that are due to vote next year for a new government.

There’s no anti-incumbency in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asserted on Sunday as the Congress marked four years of his government in the state that has recently witnessed infighting linked to the ruling party. The four years of his government are being celebrated as Rahul Gandhi continues to lead the Bharat Jodo Yatra mass contact programme in the state.

“There can be no bigger achievement than this,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “Even after four years, the people of Rajasthan are not against the state government. Usually, such a situation happens everywhere and people start finding faults. But in Rajasthan, the situation is different,” the Chief Minister further added. His comments come as the state gears up for assembly eelctions due next year. Retaining the state will be crucial for the grand old party which has faced heavy electoral losses since 2014 when the BJP was elected to power at the Centre.

He also said that the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) will continue in the state, stressing that “it important that the one who has served the government for 35 years gets security because it is high time for being concerned about social security”. “The state government has the right to decide the pension. Pension is a state subject, so OPS shall continue. The Center cannot interfere in this. There is a provision in the constitution itself that the Right To Pension rests with the state governments,” Gehlot further pointed out.

The infighting in Congress in Rajasthan yet again caught attention in recent months when Gehlot loyalists had threatened to resign in September over speculation of Sachin Pilot being chosen as his replacement if Gehlot was picked as the Congress president. Gehlot later dropped out of the race for the top party post.

Last month, the Chief Minister’s “gaddar” (traitor) comment against Pilot in an interview to NDTV had yet again brought differences to the fore. Both the leaders were later photographed together as the grand old party insisted the house was in order.