Vasundhara stopped Gehlot schemes: Rahul

Vasundhara stopped Gehlot schemes: Rahul

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on her home turf, accusing her government of stopping pro-poor welfare schemes initiated during the previous regime under Ashok Gehlot.

He also alleged that the government was diverting that money towards the affluent, which was in line with Narendra Modi’s corporate-driven Gujarat model.

Addressing a rally at the Trilokchand Mathur stadium in Karauli, which, with the Dhaulpur district, forms the reserved parliamentary constituency, Gandhi recalled the popular social schemes of the Gehlot regime, such as providing free health check-up, free medicine and free doctoral consultation to the masses.

He said the Raje-led BJP government has stopped all these schemes, aimed at benefiting the poor and rural people.

He also said the BJP is helping industrialists by discontinuing the free medicine scheme, so patients buy costly branded medicines from open stores. “We have pledged to bring Right to Healthcare (as promised in the Congress manifesto) for all the poor people, and we will provide free medicine and good treatment,” Rahul told the gathering, emphasising that his party works for the marginal sections of society.

Like Rahul, other Congress candidates are restricting their campaign to highlighting people-friendly projects from the Gehlot tenure to offset anti-incumbency of the UPA regime.
Raje, however, was able to politically counter the welfare schemes, dubbing free medicine programme as a “poison scheme” during Assembly polls.

Interestingly, though Rahul is toasting Gehlot's schemes, he had dumped him after the December 2013 Assembly polls, which the BJP had won hands down, cornering 163 of the 200 seats. However, among the 20 seats Congress got, five were from under the Karauli Lok Sabha seat.

Gehlot could not even manage a Lok Sabha ticket for his son Vaibhav, who was interested in contesting from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur. However, the seat has gone to former cricketer vMohammad Azharuddin.

The Congress vice-president has also given the reigns of the party’s state unit to Sachin Pilot, said to be in a difficult situation in Ajmer, where polling took place last Thursday. 

Congress candidate Lakhiram Bairwa is pitted against the BJP’s Manoj Rajoria, who had lost the 2009 elections to Khiladi Lal Bairwa. Rajoria managed to get renominated for the polls due to support from Raje, who wanted a close associate to contest from her home town. Her son Dushyant Singh is re-contesting from Jhalawar, where he had won last time.

Both BJP and Congress leaders, however, accept that Lakhiram Bairwa has been able to hold his ground against Narendra Modi influence resonating most of the other seats of the state.

Scheduled to go to polls along with four others on April 24, Karauli-Dhaulpur is one of the 25 constituencies of the state that emerged out of the 2008 delimitation of parliamentary segments.

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