Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is claiming to have made a mark on the national map with his policies such as Old Pension Scheme, Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, Rajasthan Government Health Scheme (RGHS), and Right to Health Bill, among others, has hired a PR firm to promote and fight the politics over the policies.
While the state government has been patting its back for its policies, stating that it has won hearts of the people of Rajasthan with its people-friendly schemes, the opposition has been questioning the successful implementation of the same.
Recently, doctors in the state had called a strike against the Right to Health Bill which continued for 14 days, crippling the healthcare system in the desert state.
While the Gehlot government continues to pat its back for being the first state in the country to introduce the Right to Health Bill, the scenes on the ground are quite different. The prolonged protest by the doctors with patients running from pillar to post seeking medical help did not paint a rosy picture for the state government.
Similarly, after introducing the Old Pension Scheme, the state government drew flak from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who openly said that the pension fund cannot be transferred to the state government because it is meant for the employees and will be transferred to them at the right time.
Fulfilling a long-standing demand from Congress legislators, Gehlot last month announced 19 new districts in Rajasthan. However, the opposition has been questioning this move, alleging that the Chief Minister did not do his homework and hence there are protests going on in Sambhar and Sujangarh where people have been raising demand for formation of districts.
Looking at the politics over his policies, Gehlot recently hired a Delhi-based PR firm with a view to take the messages of his ‘innovative’ schemes to the last person in the state.
Many government officials told IANS that Gehlot is not happy with the local media. He is of the opinion that the media (both national and local) covers his arch-rival Sachin Pilot smartly, but his schemes are not highlighted by the media.
However, the reason why this move by Gehlot is being discussed is because of the fact that the PR agency failed to do its homework when it invited only a handful of media outlets for a dinner at the Chief Minister’s residence to discuss his schemes last week.
Taking a dig at Gehlot’s move to hire a PR firm, the BJP claimed that “those who have a bad image need image makeover using PR firms”.
“Surprisingly, the Chief Minister has hired a PR firm for an image makeover, when the state’s image has been ruined due to rising crime cases, corruption and unemployment. But he is least worried about it. Had the money he spent to hire the PR firm been used for the upliftment of the state, the image of the Chief Minister could have changed,” said Laxmikant Bharadwaj, Rajasthan BJP Secretary.
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