Rajasthan Congress uses cow sops to woo voters

Rajasthan Congress uses cow sops to woo voters

With an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress Government in Rajasthan has increased the grant for cows to Rs 20 for ones below two years of age and to Rs 40 for older ones for 180 days in a year. 

The Directorate of Gopalan, which looks after the welfare of cows, earlier provided a grant of Rs 16 a day for cows below 2 years and Rs 32 for the older ones for 180 days in a year. Interestingly, cows have grabbed significant space in the Congress manifesto, with the party promising to increase grants for cow shelters, pledging to solve the stray cow problem and promising to increase facilities for cows. 

After the incumbent BJP Government in Rajasthan tried to woo voters with a ministry for cow welfare for the first time in India, the ruling Congress has followed in its footsteps. After coming to power, the Directorate of Gopalan issued an order on Dec. 28, 2018, in which it promised to recognise those who “adopt” stray cows with a felicitation on Independence Day and Republic Day.

One week ago, a state-level convention on cow conservation was held by the Rajasthan Government and attended by 2,673 registered cow shelters. Cow Welfare Minister Pramod Jain Bhaya, who presided over the event, said the convention's aim was to connect representatives of cow shelters with the government. 

Other sops

The Congress Government has also announced water facilities for domestic water consumers in rural and urban areas of the state from April 1, 2019. This decision to provide free water will benefit about 3.36 crore people across the state.

The State Government has also initiated promulgation of the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (Facilitation of Establishment & Operation) Ordinance, 2019. With the notification, this ordinance will reduce the burden of many trips to govt offices for MSME entrepreneurs to start businesses. Last month, the government kicked off its loan waiver scheme that they claim will benefit 25 lakh farmers in Rajasthan.

The 17th Lok Sabha elections for 25 seats in Rajasthan will be held in two phases with 13 constituencies going to the polls on April 29 and the rest on May 6. The key players in the state continue to be the BJP and the Congress. At present, the BJP has 23 of the 25 seats in Rajasthan.