If Arvind Kejriwal is invoking the Delhi model to hardsell the AAP to Gujarat voters for the December polls, the Congress’ senior observer for the elections, Ashok Gehlot, on Wednesday pitched the "Rajasthan Model" of governance to counter the BJP in the state.
At a press conference in Ahmedabad, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and AICC national general secretary KC Venugopal stated that former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi would kick-start the party’s Gujarat campaign on September 5.
Gehlot said the Congress manifesto for the Gujarat Assembly election would demonstrate to the people the exemplary work done by the Rajasthan government vis-à-vis the BJP’s Gujarat.
Many people are trying to spread rumours and misconceptions that the Congress is not serious about the Gujarat elections. Decades ago, we would envy Gujarat’s road infrastructure as compared to Rajasthan's. Today, the situation is quite the opposite, the Rajasthan CM added.
He said this time Rahul Gandhi had expressed his desire that the Congress’ Gujarat manifesto should reflect the aspirations and wishes of the people. "The responsibility for this has been entrusted to Deepak Babaria, who is criss-crossing the state to understand the people’s expectations," Gehlot said.
He said the Rajasthan schemes to be replicated in Gujarat, and which would be reflected in the manifesto, would be the public health model of Rajasthan, known as the "Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Yojana", which he said "is unique in the country".
There would also be an old-age pension scheme like in Rajasthan, besides a Rs 5 bonus for every litre of milk procured from dairy farmers.
"The demand of Gujarat farmers for electricity supply in the daytime rather than at night would be met in Gujarat and is already there in Rajasthan," he said.
Gehlot said his government had launched the Indira Gandhi Shehri Rojgar Yojana on the lines of MNREGA for urban youth. He said Rajasthan had introduced English medium in government schools in villages. "This is a revolutionary initiative, whose impact will be felt 10 years from now." "This will be part of the Gujarat manifesto," Gehlot said.
KC Venugopal said, "There is a clear anti-incumbency feeling in Gujarat. The BJP keeps on harping on its Gujarat model. They changed the entire cabinet, including the chief minister. They recently changed two Cabinet ministers. What does it show? "
"We have started today a 90-day countdown to expose the BJP model every day." Recently, 70 people died of hooch in Gandhi’s Gujarat, while it has become a narcotics hub. We need to protect Gujarat’s legacy through Congress’ policies. "