Rajasthan’s “Revolving Door” Policy: A Historical Pattern of Alternating Governments

Jaipur: The political landscape of Rajasthan has once again undergone a dramatic shift as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged victorious in the 2024 assembly elections, bringing an end to the Congress party’s five-year rule. This marks the fifth consecutive time in the state’s history that the government has changed hands every five years, a phenomenon often referred to as the’revolving door’ policy.

Despite Congress’s confident claims of victory, the party was well aware of the challenges it faced, including a strong anti-incumbency sentiment, the paper leak scam, corruption allegations, the unresolved Kanhaiyalal murder case, and infighting within the party ranks. These factors contributed significantly to its eventual downfall.

In the ongoing vote counting, the BJP is currently leading with 116 seats, while the Congress trails behind with 68 seats. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has conceded defeat, acknowledging the BJP’s decisive victory. Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, a prominent BJP leader, has also secured her seat in the assembly.

With only two major parties in the state, Congress and the BJP, the political dynamics have been largely defined by this two-party system. The Congress’s inability to break the cycle of change every five years proved to be its undoing, while the BJP capitalised on this pattern to regain power.

Since 1998, Ashok Gehlot and Vasundhara Raje have emerged as the dominant leaders of their respective parties. Despite being sidelined for a period, Raje has maintained her position as a key figure within the BJP.

The 2018 assembly elections saw the Congress emerge victorious with 100 seats, while the BJP secured 73 seats. However, in the previous elections, the BJP had a commanding majority of 163 seats. This recent victory is expected to have a significant impact on the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with some even attributing it to the enduring influence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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