In the run-up to the Rajasthan Assembly monsoon session, the BJP is under pressure on many fronts, from within the party as well as outside.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is reportedly upset with the police department due to the increasing crime rate in the state, especially after the escape of ‘gangster’ Anandpal Singh from police custody.
Raje is also under pressure from her MLAs to expand the cabinet and fill vacancies in government boards, commissions and corporations.
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The Opposition has added to the government’s worries by declaring it will take the offensive against the BJP in the Assembly, and focus on issues such as corruption and crime.
In terms of numbers, the Congress has only 24 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly while the BJP has 160. However, the ruling party seems to be taking steps to ensure that it is not on the backfoot in the House.
Concerned about the track record of the police administration, Raje held a meeting with Home Minister Gulab Chand Katariya, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), DG Police Manoj Bhatt and other senior officers. She reprimanded them for the escape of Anandpal, and ordered that he be nabbed as soon as possible. She also expressed discontent with SPs of Ajmer and Nagaur.
To ensure the support of BJP MLAs during a stormy Assembly session, plans are under way to expand the cabinet and appoint MLAs as Parliament secretaries.
During a training camp for the 64 newly elected MLAs, Raje clarified that first-time legislators would not be considered for the post of minister. However, they should maintain contact with the public and make sure that government schemes reach them, she added.