‘Revdi’ and ‘rozgaar’: Baghel’s job creation twist to freebies formula

New Delhi: Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel addresses a press conference at Congress HQ. in New Delhi on Thursday, 24 August, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Qamar Sibtain)

Sundeep Pouranik

Raipur, Sep 3 (IANS) Once again, the culture of freebies is gaining prominence in the country’s politics as parties are increasingly focusing on wooing the voters. But in Chhattisgarh, a new model is emerging, where not only ‘revdi’ but employment opportunities are being provided to the common people to not only become economically stable but also witness rapid economic growth.

Whether it’s the Lok Sabha elections or state assembly elections, as soon as they approach, governments open their treasuries and shower voters with promises. In Chhattisgarh also, the promises are coming but the key questions revolve around how to provide employment to the people, ensure fair prices for farmers’ crops, and take steps for better healthcare and education. This is where the government is mapping its plans.

The changing conditions in the state make it clear that the source of income of the rural population is dependent on agriculture, forest produce, and animal husbandry. Hence, the government has first and foremost emphasised on strengthening the rural economy for providing employment to the people, Gauthan, which we can also call a cattle day care centre, has been established, where cow dung is being purchased at Rs 2 and cow urine at Rs 4 per kg. Furthermore, rural industrial parks have been set up at the village level. Support prices for forest produce have also been increased, as also the support price for rice.

While steps are being taken to strengthen the rural economy on the one hand, on the other hand the initiative of Swami Atmanand Schools has been launched to provide better education to children. In these schools, children are being provided with excellent education in both the Hindi and English medium. These schools are even better than private schools.

Similarly, efforts have been made to take healthcare services to remote areas with the launch of Haat Bazaar Clinics. Unemployed youth are also being provided with unemployment allowances. It’s not just about distributing dividends; there are several cases where the state government has taken steps that have put a burden on the state’s economy, such as waiving farmers’ loans, reducing electricity bills, and providing unemployment allowances. Now, the state government is preparing to announce a plan like a gas cylinder for Rs 500 in view of the upcoming assembly elections.

Congress state president Deepak Baij claims that the state government made 36 promises to the public, out of which 34 promises have been fulfilled. Every section of society has received justice, which is why the public’s trust in the government has increased. In the assembly elections, the Congress will get more than 75 seats.

On the other hand, the BJP is accusing the Congress of making false promises. 

The BJP has raised questions about the government and said that the promises made have not been fulfilled, whether it is about providing allowances to the unemployed, employment, or increasing investment. 

BJP state president Arun Sao said that the Bhupesh Baghel government is depriving millions of families of their homes, and the central funds are being misused. It is due to the corrupt officials in the state that development has been hindered. Political analysts believe that in the past five years, there has been a change in the situation. Efforts have been made to give a new direction to the rural economy, and opportunities for employment have been developed in rural areas. Not only this, the state is also working to awaken the Chhattisgarhi identity.

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