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Ashok Gehlot to begin Political Yatra over canal issue for East Rajasthan

As the elections are approaching the political war over Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) is sharply intensifying in Rajasthan. JAIPUR: With elections in Rajasthan barely three months away, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is set to launch a special political Yatra spanning 13 districts of eastern Rajasthan. Gehlot's five-day Jan Ashirwad Yatra is scheduled to commence on September 25th and will be specifically focused on the regions intended to be covered by the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP). The project's primary aim is to provide drinking water to 13 districts in east Rajasthan, but it has faced significant delays due to ongoing disputes between the Central and State governments. Clearly, Gehlot and the government are gearing up to escalate the ERCP issue in the run-up to the Rajasthan elections. Rajasthan Pradesh Congress President Govind Singh Dotasara shared that meetings and street gatherings would take place at various locations during the yatra. Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Modi's visit to Rajasthan on September 25th, Dotasara commented that Modi had not delivered on any promises so far. Dotasara added, "PM Modi had promised to declare ERCP in Ajmer and Jaipur as a national project during the elections, but he reneged on this promise. If he makes any announcement regarding this sooner or later, it will be a sign of his acknowledgement; otherwise, he remains in election mode. The public has now grasped the reality that it's a government of rhetoric." The five-day Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Eastern Rajasthan is set to commence from either Jaipur or Dausa. A state-of-the-art chariot is under preparation for the five-day yatra, with Chief Minister Gehlot, Dotasara, state in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, and many other leaders expected to be present. During the yatra, street meetings will be organized in different assembly constituencies, where all party leaders will commend the government's work and confront the central government on the ERCP issue. The grand finale is likely to take place in Ajmer. As the elections are approaching the political war over Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) is sharply intensifying in Rajasthan. This ambitious project of over 40,000 crore is aimed at providing water to 13 districts of the state. On his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi attacked the Central Government for not approving it as a national project. Last week addressing a public rally in Tonk Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also strongly criticised the central government regarding the ERCP issue, asserting, "The central government is not sincerely addressing your concerns, burdening the state government in the process. It's crucial to vote thoughtfully in the upcoming elections. Why is the central government silent on ERCP?  Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot alleges that despite the electoral promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, his government is doing nothing but misleading the people on this major issue. However, BJP claims that it is the Congress government who is misleading the public and the Gehlot government hasn't proposed or implemented it as they had envisioned, despite their 50% contribution." Consequently, the Congress party intends to directly target PM Modi and Union Minister Shekhawat during the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, using the ERCP issue as a focal point. Through this approach, Congress aims to garner support in the 86 assembly constituencies by holding PM Modi and Shekhawat accountable. It's worth noting that Eastern Rajasthan has traditionally been a stronghold for the Congress party, largely due to the support of the Gurjar community, who openly backed Congress because of Sachin Pilot. In the last election, out of 39 assembly seats in East Rajasthan, Congress secured 25, BSP won 5, Independents claimed 4, and RLD secured one seat, while BJP managed only 4 seats. The BSP subsequently merged with Congress, and Congress also enjoys the support of RLD and independent candidates. Given the Gurjar community's discontent with Congress for not appointing Sachin Pilot as the Chief Minister, it remains to be seen how effective Chief Minister Gehlot's efforts to reach out to this region will be in the upcoming election. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)