Afternoon Voice

Raje claims Bharat Bandh as Congress’s drama

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said Monday the Congress was engaging in a “drama” by observing a nationwide shutdown over increasing fuel prices, stressing that her government has reduced VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to people.

The BJP government in Rajasthan, which is to go to polls later this year, reduced value-added tax on diesel and petrol Sunday.

“The decision will benefit people, including farmers, women, students, government employees who use vehicles,” Raje said.

Addressing a public meeting in Hanumangarh district’s Bhadra town during her Gaurav Yatra, Raje said she understands that the increase in fuel prices affect people’s budget and hence the state government decided to reduce the VAT.

“Today a drama is going on in the country but there is no impact in Rajasthan. We have taken decision in public interest,” she said.

The Congress and several other opposition parties today observed a shutdown across the country. Their call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ received mixed response from people and violent incidents were reported from some places.

She also listed the government programmes for the benefit of people, including Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana under which free gas connections are given to women from poor families.

Raje said the scheme has benefitted nearly 33 lakh women in the state.

She said her government has decided to waive loans of up to Rs 50,000 which will benefit nearly three lakh farmers.

“Congress could have done so many things in 50 years but they did not. When I took the office, the state was under heavy debt but I never gave an excuse of ‘no money’ for public work and did as much as we could for our people,” she said.

Saying that Rajasthan is a progressive state today, Raje asked people to unite, forget differences and work hard to “change history” and take the state ahead on the path of progress.