Congress party is leaving no stone unturned to reap political benefits out of the recently launched direct cash transfer (DCT) scheme to be implemented in 51 districts from January 1, despite government denials that the scheme was not aimed at elections.
The party general secretary Rahul Gandhi has convened a meeting of Congress office-bearers of 51 districts here on December 14 to train them for using the DCT scheme. Those invited include presidents of district Congress committees, office bearers of Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI) in these districts ostensibly to take advantage in the forthcoming elections.
The districts covered include Mumbai suburban, Pune, Wardha, Amravati and Nandurbar in Maharashtra, Ajmer, Udaipur and Alwar in Rajasthan, Anand, Bhavnagar, Valsad and Mehsana in Gujarat, Hoshangabad, Harda and Khandwa(East Nimar) in Madhya Pradesh, Hyderabad, Ananthpur, Chittur, East Godavari and Rangareddy in Andhra Pradesh, SBS Nagar(Nava Shahr), Guraspur and Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab and North Goa.
Rahul Gandhi’s meeting will be followed by finance minister P Chidambaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh holding a similar crash course for the district magistrates of these districts.
In his new capacity as the chairman of the party’s election coordination committee, Rahul Gandhi’s invite has gone out from his office that the Congress will gain immensely in the elections from the
scheme. It has been hailed as an innovative change to cleanse the government’s schemes of welfare and subsidies from rampant corruption and ensure that every rupee released by the government goes to the actual beneficiaries.
Gandhi is reported to have told the prime minister to include more government programmes under the DCT scheme and has fixed the December 2013 the timeline for the third phase to realise political benefits for the Congress. According to the road map, the number of states covered under the scheme would be increased to 18 by April 2013 and further to 16 by April 2014, ahead of general elections.
It was also for the first time on Tuesday that Rahul became part of the government’s highest strategy maneuvers by attending the meeting of the UPA coordination committee to discuss the issue of the FDI in multi-brand retail and the logjam in parliament.
After the Gujarat assembly elections, Rahul is planning to consult senior party leaders and ministers to frame the poll strategy and place it before the brain-storming session proposed to be held in Jaipur mid-January.