"Make In Dholpur": In Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi Tweaks PM's Initiative

This was Rahul Gandhi's first visit in the state -- where Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is seeking a second term -- since the election dates were announced.

'Make In Dholpur': In Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi Tweaks PM's Initiative

Rahul Gandhi is planning to cover six constituencies during this phase of his visit

New Delhi:

Dholpur, a small town in eastern Rajasthan, hit the trending lists on social media today as Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on election trail in Rajasthan, promised to put in on the Make in India map. Mr Gandhi is on a two-day tour of BJP-ruled Rajasthan, where assembly elections will be held in a single phase on December 7.

The Congress chief, who has repeatedly accused the Narendra Modi government of failing to create jobs through his Make in India initiative, said, "Your phones are all made in China. I want them to be made in made in Rajsthan, Dholpur... I want people to realise where Dholpur is".

Recently, PM Modi inaugurated what is billed as the world's largest mobile phone manufacturing facility by Samsung -- but in the outskirts of national capital Delhi.

This was Rahul Gandhi's third visit in the state, where Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is seeking a second term. In nearly three decades, Rajasthan has not allowed any party two terms in power. It gives a natural advantage to the Congress, whose state chief Sachin Pilot is leading the campaign.

Mr Gandhi's 163-km roadshow in six constituencies of Dholpur and Bharatpur is aimed at taking on Ms Raje on her home ground. The Chief Minister is a former royal from Dholpur, but the area also happens to be one where the Congress has a toehold. In the 2013 election, when the Congress was all but wiped out in the state, winning only 21 of 200 seats, it managed to retain four seats in the Dholpur-Bharatpur belt.  

The Congress chief - who is planning to cover six constituencies by Wednesday - said despite a four-year-rule, neither PM Modi nor Vasundhara Raje has done much for the people in Rajasthan.

"When the UPA government was in power, we gave you MNREGA, farm loan waivers to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore, rice and food for the children... what has Narendra Modi and Vasundhara Raje done for the poor, the farmers?"

Dholpur is the constituency of Shobah Rani Kushwaha, who won it in 2017 after the incumbent - her husband Banwari Lal Kushwaha - was convicted in a murder case. Though Banwari Lal Kushwaha belonged to Mayawati's party, the BJP offered a ticket to his wife. The election was a prestige issue for the BJP, and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje campaigned for days at Dholpur palace to craft a victory.

The Congress had suffered its worst humiliation in Rajasthan in 2013, winning only 21 of the 200 assembly seats. Vasundhara Raje had swept to power with 163 seats.

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