Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Vision for State’s Progress and Upcoming Elections
In a recent interview with PTI, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed his optimism about the upcoming assembly elections in the state, highlighting the role of farmers and various welfare schemes that his government has implemented. Baghel’s vision revolves around empowering farmers, women, youth, and businessmen, with a strong focus on inclusive development.
As Chhattisgarh gears up for assembly elections, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel remains confident in the Congress’s ability to secure 75-plus seats out of the 90-member House. He credits this envisioned success to the immense support from farmers and several other sectors of the state’s population. By prioritizing the financial well-being of farmers, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister aims to stimulate economic growth, boost employment, and bring transformative change to Chhattisgarh.
One of the cornerstones of Baghel’s strategy is his commitment to farmers’ welfare. The government has taken significant steps to ensure that farmers have the support and resources they need to thrive. Several schemes, including the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Bhoomihin Krishi Majdoor Nyay Yojana, and Godhan Nyay Yojana, have directly impacted the lives of farmers. This includes the procurement of 20 quintals of paddy per acre, a move that helps increase the income of farmers.
Additionally, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Baghel’s government has made strides in supporting tendu leaves collectors. Tendu leaves are essential for making bidis, and the government’s commitment to this sector has not only secured livelihoods but also boosted the economy.
Women Empowerment Through Self-Help Groups
Empowering women is another crucial aspect of Baghel’s vision. The formation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) has been instrumental in providing employment opportunities for women. These groups allow women to support themselves and their families, contributing to financial stability and social progress.
Youth and Businessmen
In addition to farmers and women, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister acknowledges the importance of supporting youth and businessmen. Various government schemes have injected funds into the market, leading to increased opportunities for entrepreneurs and job seekers alike. This holistic approach aims to strengthen the overall economic landscape of Chhattisgarh.
Improvements in Education, Health, Culture, and Infrastructure
Baghel’s tenure as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister has witnessed significant improvements in various sectors. The government has invested in education, healthcare, culture, and infrastructure, providing a more conducive environment for the people of Chhattisgarh to thrive. These developments have not only enhanced the quality of life but have also created new avenues for progress.
Tribal Rights and Peace in Bastar
The protection of ‘jal, jungle, zameen’ (water, forest, and land) rights of tribals has been a priority for the Chhattisgarh government. Baghel’s administration has taken measures to address these issues, promoting social justice and harmony. Furthermore, the efforts to restore peace in Bastar, a region once marred by conflict, have garnered positive results, fostering a sense of security and stability.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Baghel highlighted key announcements that have resonated with the people. The decision to launch their own housing scheme after the central government’s non-cooperation with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the commitment to conduct a caste census in the state, announced by Priyanka Gandhi, underscore the Congress’s dedication to the people’s welfare. In contrast, Baghel noted that the BJP has been relatively silent on their plans, choosing instead to focus on allegations rather than concrete initiatives.
Chhattisgarh’s Pro-Farmer Schemes
The Chhattisgarh government’s three flagship pro-farmer schemes have significantly bolstered the Congress’s position in rural and semi-urban areas over the past five years. These schemes have played a crucial role in addressing the needs of farmers, promoting agricultural prosperity, and enhancing the overall well-being of the rural population.
Liquor Prohibition and the Challenges Faced
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister acknowledged the party’s commitment to imposing liquor prohibition, a promise made during the previous assembly polls. However, the attempt faced significant challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the consumption of spurious alcohol led to tragic consequences. Baghel emphasized the importance of addressing addiction as a social issue and called for collective efforts to eliminate it. He pointed out that the BJP had not taken meaningful action on this issue during their 15-year rule and expressed a desire for nationwide liquor prohibition.
Regularization of Contractual Employees
Baghel addressed the pending promise of regularizing contractual employees, explaining that the decision was influenced by the Supreme Court’s guidelines. Instead of full regularization, the government opted to increase their salaries, benefiting these employees. The government’s approach reflects a pragmatic response to a complex issue, prioritizing the interests of contractual employees.
Handling Discontent Among Congress MLAs
Noting the discontent among some sitting Congress MLAs who were denied tickets for the upcoming elections, Baghel emphasized that these individuals are part of the Congress family. He assured that ongoing talks are aimed at resolving their concerns and pacifying any remaining unrest. The government is committed to finding solutions and maintaining party unity.
BJP’s Ticket Distribution and Leadership
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Baghel took a dig at the BJP regarding their ticket distribution for the upcoming polls. He suggested that Raman Singh, a prominent BJP figure, plays a significant role, with industrialist Gautam Adani seemingly influential in the background. Baghel implied that the BJP’s local leadership is heavily influenced by external factors, highlighting what he sees as a lack of genuine party autonomy.
Adani and State Resources
In response to questions about Adani’s involvement in state resources, Baghel clarified that there is no intent to ban Adani but rather to ensure that the allocation of resources is done in a fair and transparent manner. He questioned why public-sector enterprises like the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) would hand over mine development and operation (MDO) contracts to private entities like Adani when the government already has established steel plants and coal production capabilities. Baghel emphasized the importance of protecting state resources for public benefit.
Economic Viability of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS)
Regarding the old pension scheme (OPS), Baghel reassured that it would not impose a significant financial burden on the state government until 2060. He also called upon the central government to return the Rs 17,000 crore deposited towards the new pension scheme (NPS). He added that if the BJP comes to power in states where OPS has been restored, they might replace it with their preferred pension scheme.
In conclusion, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s vision for the state’s progress and success in the upcoming assembly elections centers on empowering farmers, women, youth, and businessmen. His government’s comprehensive approach to inclusive development, coupled with various welfare schemes, has positively impacted the lives of Chhattisgarh’s residents. Baghel remains focused on fulfilling key promises, addressing challenges, and working toward a brighter future for the state.