India Election 2018: Vasundhara Raje Retains Seat, But Party Bites Dust
Rajasthan, which was the last state to go to polls in the Assembly elections this year, witnessed a record voter turnout of 74.21% on December 7. The state has traditionally swung between the two parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress, both of which carried out huge election campaigns. This time too, BJP candidate and Chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, who has always maintained her popularity, fought hard to retain the stronghold.
However, as per the latest results, Congress has stormed back into the state of Rajasthan with a win in the 199-seat strong assembly. With BJP’s defeat in the state, Vasundhara Raje’s reign as the CM has ended. Although she won the Jhalrapatan Assembly seat defeating her Congress rival Manvendra Singh, her quest to continue her run as the CM did not meet her expectations.
On Tuesday evening, while handing over her resignation to the Governor, Raje said, “I would like to congratulate Congress. I accept people’s mandate. BJP has worked a lot for Rajasthan and I hope the upcoming government will carry forward these works.”
Raje, who was vying for a third term as the Chief Minister, has continuously stressed on how her government brought about development and social welfare in Rajasthan over the years. While the BJP may have failed to impress the voters in Rajasthan this time, Raje’s unstoppable journey is surely something we must not ignore.
Raje has always vouched for working towards the development and for women in the state. The CM, who is highly popular with women and the youth, has survived a lot of criticism and attacks from several groups over the years. The woman is still an incredible political force and she won’t stop at just this.
Born on March 8, 1953, in Mumbai, Raje is the daughter of the last reigning Maharaja of Gwalior of pre-Independence, Jivaji Rao Scindia, and Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia. Raje, who finished her schooling from Tamil Nadu, graduated with honours in political science and economics from Sophia College, University of Mumbai. In 1972, she married Maharaj Rana Hemant Singh, who belonged to the Royal Family of Dholpur, in eastern Rajasthan. Raje’s sister Yashodhara Raje Scindia is the Industries Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
- Raje began her political career in 1985 as the Vice-President of the Yuva Morcha BJP in Rajasthan. In 1987, she was appointed Vice-President of the BJP in the State.
- Raje, who held some important portfolios from 1990 to 1996, was appointed the Joint Secretary of BJP Parliamentary Party in 1997. She held the Union Minister of State, External Affairs portfolio in 1998 and several such portfolios followed.
- In 2003, Raje was appointed the President of the BJP in Rajasthan.
- December 2003 marked a significant moment for her as she became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
- In 2009, Raje held an important position as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
- Raje turned the tables around once more, becoming the Chief Minister again in 2013. She has held the chair ever since.
- Vasundhara Raje has been the Member of Parliament from 1989 to 2003 until she was appointed Chief Minister of Rajasthan. From 1989 onwards, she won four successive Lok Sabha elections from Jhalawar, Rajasthan. From 2013 onwards, she has served as the member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Jhalrapatan.
- Recently, she presented the state budget and although there are several challenges Rajasthan has to overcome economically, she was credited for the state leaving the BIMARU category.
- Schemes such as Rajasthan Gaurav, Yatra Bhamashah Yojana, iStart Rajasthan, Jal Swavlamban, Grameen Gaurav Path Yojana, and the establishment of Annapurna stores to ensure food security are some of the significant highlights of Raje’s rule in Rajasthan.
- She has also claimed that out of the 665 promises the party made in its 2013 election manifesto, 630 have been fulfilled.
In 2007, the UNO awarded Raje with the “Women Together Award” for services she rendered towards self-empowerment of women.
India has seen some incredible women leaders over the years, if only a handful. This makes it even more significant for us to ponder over the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, if we really want the political empowerment of women in the country.