Formation of 19 new districts throws challenges before Congress government in Rajasthan
0 4 mins 2 mths

Tijara MLA Sandeep Yadav (second from right) staging a dharna outside the Rajasthan Assembly.
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement


The formation of 19 new districts, accompanied by the creation of three new divisions, has thrown challenges before the Congress government in Rajasthan, with protests being staged in several parts of the State. The ruling party may find it difficult to meet the demands linked to regional identity and people’s aspirations.

The March 17 announcement by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the State Assembly to carve out new districts, coming after a gap of 15 years since Pratapgarh was formed as a district in 2008, is set to strengthen his position and reinforce his claim for another term as the CM if the Congress is re-elected to power this year. The stature of MLAs has also increased in the constituencies which will form part of new districts.

While the Congress had expected that the new districts would bring political dividends, the protests in the areas where the districts were not announced despite the public demand have created difficulties for both the party and the government. Besides, the Opposition BJP claimed on Wednesday that the announcement of new districts without deciding their borders and jurisdiction violated the land revenue law.

The people in half-a-dozen towns, which were not upgraded as districts, have resorted to bandhs and protests for the last four days, while the local Congress party workers in these areas have also apprised the State leadership of their disappointment. The claim for creating new districts was made at about 50 places in 24 districts during the last decade.

People have taken to the streets in protest in the towns such as Sujangarh, Bhiwadi, Gudha, Bhinmal and Surtagarh, where the markets remained closed and several roads were blocked on Wednesday. A stretch of National Highway-58 near Sujangarh in Churu district was blocked, a protest was staged under the banner of Janhit Morcha and people’s resentment was conveyed to Congress MLA Manoj Meghwal.

Sambhar in Jaipur district was closed for the fourth consecutive day with the demand for making Sambhar Lake-Phulera a new district, while the local residents staged a dharna outside the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office. Tijara MLA Sandeep Yadav, who had switched over from Bahujan Samaj Party to Congress, sat on a dharna briefly outside the Assembly on Tuesday demanding that Tijara-Bhiwadi in Alwar be declared a district.

A movement has intensified in Barmer with the demand for making the city the new divisional headquarters in western Rajasthan. Besides, the people in Jhunjhunu district’s Gudha have raised objection to the decision to merge the block in Neem Ka Thana carved out of Sikar district and demanded that two-dozen villages in the block be retained with Jhunjhunu.

Sikar-based political analyst Ashfaq Kayamkhani said most of the new districts had been created in the regions where the Congress had registered victory in the 2018 Assembly election. While Sikar, the home district of Pradesh Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra, was one of the three new divisions, only one district, Salumbar, was created in southern Rajasthan’s Mewar region, which was a stronghold of the BJP, he said.

In his populist move, Mr. Gehlot seems to have rewarded his loyalist MLAs, whose claims for new districts were not considered seriously earlier. They included Kekri MLA Raghu Sharma, Deeg-Kumher MLA Vishvendra Singh, Dudu MLA Babulal Nagar and Gangapur City MLA Ramkesh Meena. The lone loyalist of former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot whose constituency was made a district was Neem Ka Thana MLA Suresh Modi.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *