‘It was a daunting task for Baghel to wrest the state from BJP, and he came out successful in a poll battle three years ago’.
New Delhi: As Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel completed three years in office on 17 December, the state’s development and political turmoil are the two features which are dominating the public discourse. The government led by Baghel is being lauded for the revolutionary decisions aimed at all-round development of tribal-dominated state despite some political challenges that the CM faced during this period.
It was a daunting task for Baghel to wrest the state from BJP, and he came out successful in an electoral battle three years ago. Overcoming various political hurdles, Baghel continued to lead the government to change the face of the state for better. Another ticklish political challenge came when he completed two-and-a-half years in office, as after this he was supposed to demit office to make way for his colleague T.S. Singh Deo for the remaining half term. It was a kind of “understanding” when Baghel was handed over the top post in 2018. However, the massive political and public support in favour of Bhupesh Baghel helped him to continue as CM. It was because he proved his mettle as a chief minister. He won the trust of the people of Chhattisgarh.
His government’s slogan “Bhupesh Hai to Bharosa Hai,” carries the real message of people’s growing trust in the regime. The government has given priority to tribals, farmers, women, laborers and focused on schemes benefiting them in these three years.
The revolutionary decisions include loan waiver of Rs 9 thousand crore of 11 lakh farmers, buying paddy from farmers at Rs 2500 per quintal and reducing electricity bill. There is no denying that the Baghel government has set new paradigms of development and justice, and has given the state its real “Chhattisgarhiya” identity.
The Chief Minister is understood to have taken initiatives to connect every section with the spirit of his state and with the mainstream of development. At the same time, the government strengthened the rural economy through schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana and Godhan Nyay Yojana. Government paved the way for economic development through people empowerment by establishing the ‘Chhattisgarh model’, which focuses on creating economic strength in rural areas. The government focused on self-employment and livelihood related activities that helped the state’s economy to survive during economic slowdown. Cash transfer in the account of the beneficiaries under schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana and Godhan Nyay Yojana gave a boost to the economy.
Changes in the lives of villagers are visible with farmers returning to organic farming, reduction in the cost of organic farming, increase in production by two-three times. In 2020-21, Chhattisgarh set a record of purchasing paddy of more than 92 lakh metric tons, which is the highest since the formation of the state. Chhattisgarh has also received “Krishi Karman Award” for producing maximum food grains.
The decision to increase support price of forest produce has also been beneficial for the tribals. Chhattisgarh has consistently topped the entire country in the last three years in collection of forest produce. Economic empowerment has got a boost from forest produce. The state was also awarded with 11 National Awards in Forest Produce Collection and Processing. The new industrial policy created a new industrial and economic environment in Chhattisgarh. In three years, 1564 new industrial units have been established in the state and investment of Rs 18 thousand 882 crore has been made in the industrial sector.
The Baghel-government has implemented a scheme to provide relief to the common people through cheap medicines in the era of ever-increasing inflation. The Chhattisgarh government has launched ‘Shree Dhanwantri Generic Medical Store’ scheme to replace expensive branded medicines with cheap generic medicines. Concession in electricity bills under the state government’s ‘Half Electricity Bill scheme’ has given a big relief to lower and middle class people of the state. The benefit of 50 per cent subsidy on electricity consumption up to 400 units has reached 40 lakh consumers.