Rajasthan Chief Minister and election incharge of Gujarat Congress, Ashok Gehlot, on Monday criticised the Gujarat government on state’s health infrastructure, while promising to implement free health service scheme in the state if the party is elected in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Speaking at the Congress Parivartan Sankalp Yatra in Asodar in Anand on Monday, Gehlot said, “In Rajasthan, we have made health services free up to Rs 10 lakh that includes medicines, medical scans and transplants, for which, people have to often mortgage their homes and sell their jewellery. Even when our parents are old and we know they won’t live for long, we spend lakhs for their treatment because it is our sanskaar (values) that we can do anything to save our parents…,” he said, adding, “We will implement the same in Gujarat… you will not need to spend even Re 1 on your medical treatment.”
Criticising the failing health infrastructure of Gujarat and government’s “apathy” in cases of human casualties such as the Botad hooch tragedy and the Morbi bridge collapse, he said, “The Covid-19 pandemic was spread across the world but why did Gujarat suffer the most? It was due to the government hospitals lacking infrastructure; everyone saw ambulances queued up outside the hospitals in Ahmedabad… The government does not care about the loss of human life.”
“Look at the hooch tragedy (in Botad) and now Morbi where more women and children have died… It is necessary that you (BJP) set up probe committees under high court judges. First they said that Rs 2-3 crore was spent on repairing the Morbi bridge… Now it turns out that only 12 lakh was spent. What is the meaning of Modiji coming and performing so many ceremonies for foundation stones and inaugurations…,” he said.
Brushing aside the controversy around Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra skipping Gujarat, Gehlot said, “Rahul Gandhiji is doing a padayatra… Inflation has hit the common man so much… and the padayatra is against inflation. He has already walked 1,500 km taking up issues such as unemployment… In Gujarat, you don’t even know how government jobs are granted with half-baked procedures. There are so many paper leaks in Gujarat… In Rajasthan, one paper leak happened and we sent the culprits to jail.”
Evoking Indira Gandhi, the Rajasthan CM told the audience, mostly comprising women, that that like Indira Gandhi, who “gave her life” to keep India united, Bharat Jodo yatra was to “rekindle the lost love and brotherhood” in the society.
“Rahul Gandhi wants that differences between castes, religions and other reasons should end to make India stronger… to rekindle the love and brotherhood in the society… It was the very reason why (his grandmother) Indira Gandhi gave her life. She wanted India to be one,” he said.
Speaking at the event, MLA Amit Chavda said Congress has “always respected women” by awarding them leadership roles in high offices, including the only woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi so far. Former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki also evoked his late father and former CM Madhavsinh Solanki as he spoke about the connection the party had with Anand, especially Asodar.