Can Rahul Gandhi's NYAY help Congress revive its fortunes in Rajasthan? -Asit Ranjan Mishra
* Out of the 1.8 million people living in the Banswara district in 3.6 lakh households, 78% are tribals
* With a 46.1% literacy rate, 91.3% of households earn less than ?5,000 per month
Banswara, Rajasthan: When Ramchandar, 52, wakes up in his thatched house every morning in the hilly tribal village of Katumbi in Rajasthan's Banswara district, his first preoccupation is to fetch water from the nearest village at a distance of two kilometers. For the Bhil tribe who once fought for the Rajputs against the Mughals, water woe is not seasonal. Often riding pillion on the serpentine road behind his neighbour’s bike for which he pays for the fuel, Ramchandar wonders whether in this lifetime, he will see a permanent source of water near his house.
Out of the 1.8 million people living in the Banswara district in 3.6 lakh households, 78% are tribals. With a 46.1% literacy rate, 91.3% of households earn less than ?5,000 per month, making them eligible for the NYAY scheme, the targeted basic income support scheme proposed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking at Dungurpur under the Banswara parliamentary constituency, which goes to polls on Monday, Gandhi said last Tuesday that NYAY would turn out to be his party’s “surgical strike" on poverty. In 2014, BJP won all the 25 parliamentary seats in Rajasthan. However, in December 2018, the Congress made a comeback by winning the assembly election with a slender margin. While the Banswara parliamentary constituency has been a fortress of the Congress party in the past, the emergence of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which is fighting parliamentary elections for the first time, has upset the calculations of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
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Livemint.com, 26 April, 2019, https://www.livemint.com/elections/lok-sabha-elections/can-rahul-gandhi-s-nyay-help-congress-revive-its-fortunes-in-rajasthan-1556253302230.html