In 2024, will Jal Jeevan repeat 2019 Swachch Bharat miracle for Modi?

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Gajendra Singh Shekhawat handles the crucial Jal Shakti portfolio as the Union Minister. The target of the Jal Shakti mission is to ensure that every household in India gets access to tap water by 2024. This is as ambitious as the Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala schemes launched during the first tenure of the Narendra Modi government.
But unlike many other ministerial colleagues, Shekhawat is not very high profile and you won’t find him at glitzy events showcasing the envious achievements of his ministry. A Rajasthan politician who is hardly supposed to be known across Hindi heartland, forget pan-India appeal, is still rated among the best performers of Modi Sarkar, is nothing short of a surprise if not an outright miracle.
This is reflected in the rankings of ministers on their performance where NDA supporters placed him in top 10 of Modi Ministers while opposition supporters gave him an even higher rank of 8 on the list. This was revealed by a nationwide survey for IANS conducted by CVoter in the month of May, 2022 that included respondents from all age groups, all educational and economic backgrounds as well as ethnic identities.
To the majority of media analysts and political pundits sitting in TV studios this could be an unsolved jigsaw puzzle till they get down to the fact that people at large have started evaluating the areas of development and work under certain department rather than any individual. So, with addition of every kilometre in any highway whatsoever that is being built across India, Gadkari’s ratings automatically seem to go up.
Similarly, the much ambitious project of providing tap water in every Indian household is adding up better ratings of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by virtue of the work he is leading in his ministry to deliver before much crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
But the real missing piece of this jigsaw puzzle is Women voters of India. It might be recalled that many skeptics had scoffed at the mission to install a toilet in every household of India. But the recent election results and the subsequent post poll analysis done by many reputed organisations concluded that the silent women voters had given a big thumbs up to the Modi regime because access to toilets at home not only saved the women from humiliation, but also from sexual crimes.
The Jal Shakti mission is also being largely ignored by media platforms as it is too “boring” a subject to cover. But the CVoter survey reveals something startling. Respondents who categorised themselves as “housewives” have rated ministry of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat as the best performing one by a wide margin. These housewives are not noisy partisans featuring in political debates. But this silent cohort constitutes a huge proportion of voters and it does appear as if Shekhawat works like Gadkari and delivers on the promise of tap water in every Indian household, then he might get credited with stabilizing the biggest vote catchment for his party by next Lok Sabha elections.

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