Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi, in Kerala's Wayanad today to address election rallies, said Sreedhanya Suresh, the state's first tribal woman to clear the Civil Services Exam, had benefitted from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNAREGS), a flagship initiative of UPA government. Mr Gandhi, during an election rally, also made a push for another Congress scheme, the minimum income guarantee programme NYAY, saying it will create "thousands of Sreedhanyas".
"She said because her parents worked in MNAREGS, she could appear for the civil service examination," Mr Gandhi said, quoted by news agency PTI.
"MNAREGS had created one Sreedhanya and thousands of Sreedhanyas would be created in Kerala and other southern states through the NYAY," said Mr Gandhi at the rally in Wayanad's Sulthan Bathery town. The Congress chief was referring to the party's minimum income guarantee scheme, which allows lower income families to receive a monthly income of Rs 72,000.
Mr Gandhi had earlier met the 22-year-old and had lunch with her at a guest house there.
Congress President @RahulGandhi meets Sreedhanya, the first person from a tribal community in Wayanad to clear civil services exam. #JanaNayakanRahulGandhihttps://t.co/ald01G5040pic.twitter.com/kSzvPx7v6r- Congress (@INCIndia) April 17, 2019
Days ago, when the civil services exam results had been declared, the Congress chief had seized the opportunity to tweet on Ms Suresh's success. Ms Suresh is from Wayanad, where Mr Gandhi is contesting the Lok Sabha polls, in a bid to bridge the gap between the country's North and South, and send out a message that "India is one".
"Sreedhanya's hard work & dedication have helped make her dream come true. I congratulate Sreedhanya and her family and wish her great success in her chosen career," he had tweeted.
Ms Suresh had fetched the 410th rank in the civil services exam for 2018, the results of which were declared by the Union Public Services Commission or UPSC, the body which conducts the exams.
"She is self-confident and a woman who confronted adversities," Mr Gandhi said.
Apart from Wayanad, Mr Gandhi is contesting the general elections from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, which has been a Congress bastion for decades.
He faces a two-pronged fight from Wayanad, against the BJP and the Left Front, who have both propped up candidates in the region, of which 18 per cent of the vote share belongs to tribals.