Congress and BJP trade barbs in Rajasthan, parties have sounded the poll bugle on ground


Rajasthan’s Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, recently issued a challenge to the BJP-led Central Government: establish a department of peace and non-violence to mirror his state’s efforts, thereby embodying true democratic principles and constitutional faith. Gehlot’s statement, made during the Rajasthan Gandhi Darshan Sammelan, castigated the BJP’s election strategy, which he claims leverages religion for easy victories rather than demonstrating genuine courage.
Gehlot, a senior Congress leader, expressed concern over the current state of Indian democracy, characterising it as under threat and veering towards an unknown direction. He accused the BJP and the RSS of increasinglydominating the country and exploiting issues of caste and religion to secure electoral success, which, according to Gehlot, undermines the Constitution.
He took aim at the BJP’s past practices too, remarking on their strategic use of popular figures such as Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, and Ramdev during the movement against the previous Congress-led UPA government. Despite the attention drawn to the Lokpal bill, 2G spectrum, and coal scam at the time, Gehlot pointed out that these topics seem to have faded into obscurity under the current regime.
Gehlot underscored the importance of opposition in maintaining a functional democracy, advocating for healthy criticism and constant improvement. The Chief Minister suggested that a robust opposition serves to balance governance and contributes to the refinement of government action. Extending his proposition to the Central Government, Gehlot asked the BJP-led NDA government why they haven’t yet established a peace department if they sincerely uphold democratic values and respect the Constitution. Such a department, he stressed, would enhance harmony and foster Gandhian thought, much like Rajasthan’s Directorate of Peace and Non-Violence, set up in October 2021 and upgraded to a department in 2022.
Gehlot concluded his address by paying homage to the visionary leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, and Jawaharlal Nehru. He credited the country’s resilience and continued operation to the decisions and ideologies of these figures. The Chief Minister’s call for peace departments in all states and at the Centre is an echo of this historic vision, seeking to perpetuate their ideas and principles.
Ashok Gehlot’s scathing criticism within the BJP and lack of democracy has consistently failed to stall or address his ongoing tensions with Sachin Pilot . Apart from this the Rajasthan government is constantly under fire from sanitation workers in the state to Aganwadi workers from the state who have been making demands such as regularisation for a long time.
\ The most recent and startling accusation of paper leak against the Rajasthan government has added to the woes of the government reeling under the pressure of a rebellion and dissatisfaction among government employees. Moreover with the BJP keen on checking factionalism in Rajasthan, it seems like the elections later this year are not going to be so clear as stated by some political pundits early this year.