Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on October 25 said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had “no vision” for the future and its move to hand over public sector undertakings to a select few industrialists had led to a high unemployment rate. Ms. Vadra said the PSUs, when privatised, would cease to generate jobs and there would be no reservation.
Ms. Vadra was addressing a rally at Ardawata village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district ahead of the State Assembly election. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced at the rally that the women heading the households would get ₹10,000 annually in instalments if Congress was voted back to power in the upcoming polls.
The annual financial assistance will be credited into the bank accounts of women under the Grah Laxmi guarantee scheme. Mr. Gehlot also promised the extension of the scheme for providing cooking gas cylinders at ₹500 each, earlier applicable to the BPL families and Ujjwala Scheme beneficiaries, to 1.05 crore families in the State.
BJP leaders Shobha Rani Kushwah, Mamta Sharma and Vikas Chaudhary were inducted into Congress in Ms. Vadra’s presence at the rally. Dholpur MLA Ms. Kushwah was expelled from the BJP for cross-voting in favour of the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha election last year, while former MLA Ms. Sharma had earlier left Congress to join the BJP.
Ms. Vadra said while addressing the crowd, largely comprising the farmers, peasants and women, that the Centre’s schemes were hollow in contrast to those of the Gehlot government, which had benefited large sections of the population with effective implementation. The BJP was making an attempt to get votes by talking about religion and castes, she said.
The Congress general secretary said when the employees demanded the Old Pension Scheme and the farmers sought debt waiver, the Modi government claimed that it did not have money. “But they have enough money to waive off huge loans of the Prime Minister’s industrialist friends, buy planes for him for Rs.16,000 crore and construct the new Parliament building,” she said.
“The Modi government has no vision or roadmap for the nation’s progress. They are neither generating any employment opportunities nor creating new educational institutions,” Ms. Vadra said. The Bill for women’s reservation in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies passed in the Parliament, would take 10 years for implementation, she added.
Ms. Vadra said Mr. Modi’s promises were as hollow and empty as his “donation envelope” which he had deposited in a temple in Rajasthan and was later found to contain only ₹21. The Modi government had not taken any step to revive the agriculture sector, which had become unremunerative, while the GST and demonetisation had destroyed the small business sector, she said.
Ms. Vadra earlier unveiled a statue of veteran Congress leader from Jhunjhunu and former Union Minister Sis Ram Ola. Among others, Congress in-charge for Rajasthan Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot attended the rally.