The Congress has been in power in Rajasthan for around three and a half years now. And this is a good enough period to judge the performance of any government.
However, given the present situation of Rajasthan, you cannot rate the incumbent government very highly. The state has become a hub of corruption, crime and extreme religiosity.
High corruption levels in Rajasthan
At the end of 2019, Rajasthan topped the corruption chart in an independent survey that sought around 1,90,000 responses.
According to the survey conducted by the Local Circles and Transparency International India, 78 per cent of people in Rajasthan who participated in the survey, admitted having paid a bribe to get work done. Of them, 22 per cent admitted having paid bribes multiple times, while the rest said that they had bribed officials only once or twice.
Last year, it was reported that Rajasthan stood second in the country in Prevention of Corruption Act cases, with 363 cases registered in 2020.
The crime rate goes up in Rajasthan
Earlier this month, state police officials themselves said that Rajasthan recorded an 11.01 per cent rise in registration of criminal cases last year as compared to 2020. Data also points out that atrocities against women went up by 17.03 per cent in 2021, as compared to 2020.
The law and order situation in Rajasthan has become a political issue, with the BJP criticizing the incumbent government over the matter.
The data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) also shows that the state of Rajasthan registered the highest number of rape and attempt to rape cases for two successive years- 2019 and 2020.
As per the latest data available with Rajasthan police, the number of rape cases in 2021 is higher than even 2019 and 2020. There were 5,997 rape cases in 2019 and 5,310 such cases in 2020. But last year, the number went up to 6,337 cases.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan DGP ML Lather pointed out another issue- increasing honeytrap and extortion cases. He said, “Two years ago, what was Jamtara in Jharkhand (in terms of cyber crime cases) has shifted to Mewat. In these cases, mostly people living in southern states are targeted. The modus operandi is very simple. They scan the Facebook accounts of people and look for weaknesses. Later, they blackmail these people saying that they will post indecent content to defame the persons and thus blackmail them.”
Land-rich Waqf board wants government aid to pay salaries
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Rajasthan Board of Muslim Waqf (RBMW) is eyeing government aid to pay salaries to its staff.
RBMW owns a lot of property in the state. As per reports, it has a total of 18,000 properties in Rajasthan and the real estate portfolio makes it the richest body/board in terms of land ownership. Jaipur alone has 2,500 properties including 400 shops.
But an RBMW official said, “The rental income is generated from over 7,000 properties, 95% of it goes into the hands of the local committees, legal cases and other developmental works leaving the Waqf board with no corpus fund.”
Non-implementation of the new rent policy and encroachment is being blamed for the situation.
Recently, the state government had earmarked Rs. 98.55 crore towards the development of minorities. Out of which, Rs. 5 crores were set aside for building boundary walls in waqf land or graveyards, madrasas and schools on public land.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot approved a revised proposal to spend Rs 98.55 crore in various schemes from a fund of Rs 100 crore set up for the inclusive development of the minority community in the state, reads an official statement
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2022
Under the Congress government, Rajasthan is facing an upsurge in corruption levels and criminal cases. And to add to it, minority appeasement is also clearly visible. It is bound to become a major talking point when the state goes to the polls next year.