Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced five guarantees, including a law to continue the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and free laptops or tablets for government college students if the Congress wins the upcoming state polls. Gehlot also criticized the Union government over the recent Enforcement Directorate action against his son Vaibhav Gehlot and the party’s state chief, Govind Singh Dotasra, accusing it of using central agencies to target political rivals.
Promises made by Congress-led Ashok Gehlot to Public
Gehlot stated they would introduce a law to ensure that a new government could not roll back OPS, which Rajasthan reverted to in 2022. He explained, “If the BJP comes to power in Rajasthan, they will roll back OPS… We will pass a law in the assembly when we form the government so that even in the future if there is a new government, they are not able to roll back OPS.”
The OPS guarantees inflation and pays commission-indexed pension payouts without any contribution from the employee.
Gehlot also promised free laptops or tablets for first-year students of government colleges, an insurance cover of ₹15 lakh per household for natural disaster damages, the purchase of cow dung at ₹2 per kg under the ‘Godhan’ scheme, and English medium school education for students. He had previously announced two other guarantees – the expansion of the state’s subsidized cylinder scheme to 10.5 million families and an annual honorarium of ₹10,000 to women heads of families if they win the elections.
Polling for the 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan is scheduled for November 25, with votes counted on December 3.
Accusations put on the Rajasthan government
Rajendra Rathore, the BJP leader and leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, accused the government of making false promises to maintain its dwindling support base. He said, “Voters have spent five years in misery due to misgovernance of the Congress. They will not fall prey to such election guarantees.”
Gehlot claimed that the Congress has become synonymous with “trust” in the state and accused the BJP-led central government of misusing central agencies to target the Opposition. He referred to the recent raids conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other agencies against opposition leaders.
Repeated raids in the state
ED recently raided the home of Govind Singh Dotasra and issued a notice to Vaibhav Gehlot for alleged contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in a separate case. Gehlot criticized the central government for using agencies like the ED, Income Tax, and CBI to target opposition leaders, raising concerns about democracy and the Constitution. Dotasra expressed his willingness to cooperate with any investigation and stated that he was not afraid of the raids.
The BJP argued that the agencies conducted independent investigations and suggested that Congress leaders should not be afraid of raids if they have nothing to hide.