Ashok Gehlot unveiled an announcement that his ‘7 Guarantees’ campaign had seen 1 crore families..!?

It was a surprise press conference on the last day of campaigning by then chief minister Ashok Gehlot. No one knew the agenda till Gehlot unveiled an announcement that his ‘7 Guarantees’ campaign had seen 1 crore families sign up for it. Behind that announcement at the congress office was an election campaign consultancy called ‘Designboxed’, which had worked on the campaign, and a giant flex was brought out to showcase the ‘milestone’. The firm had designed the congress campaign, complete with ‘guarantee camps’ and bright hoardings with Gehlot’s data-face across the state. But all of that fell short when the results came out.

The bjp, on the other hand, had gone much the old-school way, depending on its spokespersons and the karyakartas on the ground to develop its narrative against the Gehlot government. It was a fight between what the bjp now describes as a ‘corporate-style’ campaign in the congress camp where a lot of money was spent, and a worker-driven campaign in the bjp camp that started in 2019.

The BJP’s ally remained its worker on the ground who kept giving inputs to the state and the central teams, which in turn kept pushing the same to the media. The party stationed its proficient voices like rajya sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi, former Uttar Pradesh minister Shrikant Sharma, and Shehzad Poonawalla in rajasthan to escalate its message. The congress, too, sent in its top spokespersons to rajasthan, but it wasn’t as effective as the BJP.

The decisive push came from PM narendra modi who took the campaign to the next level and articulated the issues of paper leaks and crimes against women, which amplified the message and ensured its penetration across the state. The PM’s confidence showed when he said that Gehlot would never be the chief minister of rajasthan again. The result was a comfortable majority of 115 seats for the bjp, reflecting the ground sentiment.

Overall, congress repeated 98 MLAs but 65% of them lost 17 out of 26 ministers out in the contest also lost. Some in congress say the fact that the party could still get 69 seats with a 39.5% vote share meant all was not lost, unlike in 2013 when congress dropped to 21 seats. But there are no moral victories in politics.

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