In maiden visit to Rajasthan post election win, Rahul Gandhi to sharpen Lok Sabha pitch after Modi’s quota googly

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New Delhi | Published: January 9, 2019 12:25:36 PM

Rahul Gandhi, who had led the Opposition's charge against the government on the Rafale deal, will need to sharpen his attack against PM Narendra Modi.

Source: PTI

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will be addressing a farmers’ rally in Rajasthan on Wednesday, in his first visit to the state after the party’s poll victory in the recently concluded assembly election in the state. The party president’s visit comes at a time when Centre’s surprise proposal for 10 per cent quota for upper caste poor was approved by the Lok Sabha with an overwhelming majority.

The Modi government’s quick move has left the Opposition squandering for a counter with most parties choosing not to object to the Centre’s move to provide 10 per cent to upper caste poor. Rahul Gandhi, who had led the Opposition’s charge against the government on the Rafale deal, will need to sharpen his attack against PM Narendra Modi.

The government’s quota move threatens to blunt the opposition in more ways than one. In the run-up to the Rajasthan polls, the Congress party had promised Gurjars and communities such as Raika, Banjara and Gadia Luhar of 5 per cent quota in its manifesto ahead of the polls which it won. Now, with the 10% quota for upper caste passed in the Parliament, the reservation issue could take centre stage in the state again.

Not long ago, the Gurjar outfits had nudged the party about its pre-election promise and reminded it to provide the quota before the Lok Sabha polls scheduled to be held in a few months from now.

On upper caste quota, the grand old party had given its support but questioned the timing, calling it a jumla, a political gimmick, ahead of the crucial elections. Gandhi is likely to speak further along these lines during the public meeting.

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This will also mark Gandhi’s first rally after the Congress government took first steps to fulfil its promise of waiving the farmer loans.

The Congress-led government in Rajasthan, as promised, on December 19 2018, declared a waiver for short-term farm loans up to Rs 2 lakhs and also formed a committee to plan the eligibility criteria for the same.

The promise of waiving off loans of farmers was a promise by the party and the government has fulfilled after coming to power, Congress’ in-charge for political affairs in Rajasthan, Avinash Pande was quoted in a report by News18.

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