Udaipur : Villagers in Chittorgarh’s Begu constituency seem befooled by the Congress party workers. They claim party men lured them into enrolling themselves under the ‘Shakti’ project in return for free sim cards donned with talktime, cash and even offered them coveted post in the party. Shakti project is the brainchild of party president Rahul Gandhi which was introduced in Rajasthan to increase the party’s membership base at grass roots level. Party leaders who perform outstandingly by enrolling maximum numbers from their areas were to be given posts and offices at district or block levels and felicitated by the party president himself and interact with him. In Rajasthan, some 2 lakh members were said to have been enrolled under the program and Begu constituency stood first with as much as 14 thousand new members induced in the party.
Ex-MLA Rajendra Singh Bidhuri and Jitendra Singh Rathore from Chittorgarh were among the star performers in the Shakti mission who have been taking credits for their accomplishments. Meanwhile, many of the villagers in the Begu constituency area sprawled across 200 kilometers including Gangrar and Rawatbhata claim that Bidhuri’s men lured them with many false promises, they got new sim cards for those who didnt have a mobile and then added them as party members. ” They told me that they would make me the party president and even give me cash if I consented to enroll under Shakti project. They took my Adhaar and voter identity card and provided me a Sim card, but i havnt received the cash as promised” Bhagirath, an inmate said. ” One of the party workers asked for my voter and adhaar card claiming that they would link them with my mobile number and so i let them the documents, but off late I came to know that it was all a trick to get me enrolled with their party” Omkarlal, a BJP supporter and former chairman of Gram Seva Sahkari Samiti in Begu said. According to reliable sources, some 5 thousand new sim cards were procured to enroll people in the area.
” We pput up a canopy and sold simcards in bulk amount. Those who purchased it appeared to be doing it for a same project, however, i cannot say for what purpose the sims were taken” Lokesh Panchal, a vendor said. Sources claim, Bidhuri doesnt have a strong base in the area since he is an outsider here and hails from Gaziabad in Delhi, however, he won the assembly election in 2008 and lost the seat in 2013. He aims to contest in the elections again and hence, he pooled in resources to gain party recognition.
” Its unfortunate that party leaders have to resort to such tactics to earn appreciation from the Congress president but in the efforts, they kept aside ethics by making false promises to people to get them enrolled” said one of a BJPworker in the area.