PM, Sonia rally in Rajasthan today

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi arrives at a party workers’ meeting at Adampur, near Jalandhar, on Friday. 	— PTI

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi arrives at a party workers’ meeting at Adampur, near Jalandhar, on Friday. — PTI

Though Assembly elections are due next year, it will be a show of strength on the part of the ruling Congress when UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh address a gathering on Saturday at Dudu under Jaipur district. It will be an occasion to relaunch the UPA government’s flagship Aadhar programme.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his ministerial and party functionaries have left no stone unturned in the last one week to make the show at Dudu a success. Mr Gehlot paid three visits to Dudu to review preparations while chief secretary C.K. Mathew held a series of meetings with officials in this regard.
Union finance minister P. Chidambaram and several other Union ministers are supposed to be here for the event. Security has been beefed up in Dudu and surrounding areas. According to police sources, more than 3,000 policemen have been deployed. The state government cautiously chose Dudu as the venue, which is part of the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat and is close to the politically important central Rajasthan. Dudu falls under Jaipur Rural, but borders Tonk and Ajmer districts. People from neighbouring districts like Nagaur, Swai Madhopur and Bundi can also attend the programme.
It will be Mrs Gandhi’s second visit to Rajasthan in the last one-and-a-half month. Recently, she had visited the border district of Barmer to launch a drinking water scheme and had visited the localities devastated by heavy rains.
The Congress has roped in its MLAs, MPs and district-level officials to ensure a good number of people from their respective areas. Union minister for state Sachin Pilot has been seen actively mobilising people for the function.
Mr Gehlot has been focusing on the rural belt as well as the region dominated by SC/STs. He has announced several populist schemes in the last two years.
The state government is going to introduce free diagnostic facilities at government-run hospitals. “On paper, one can find such schemes impressive but on the ground, the situation is different. The implementation is poor,” said a dissident leader in the Congress.

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