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Jul 28, 2013 at 10:34am IST

Will Gehlot govt's medical schemes help Congress in the Assembly polls?

New Delhi: Even as the state's medical schemes are benefiting many, CNN-IBN's Election Tracker in Rajasthan show that 35 per cent people prefer the previous Vasundhara Raje government in the state. While only 29 per cent back the Ashok Gehlot government.

Kishan, a resident of Bhiwani in Haryana has been bringing his father to Jaipur's SMS hospital for the treatment. The treatment, which amounts to Rs 80,000 pacemaker installation, would have cost him much more if it were not for Gehlot's free medicine scheme in Rajasthan.

"This scheme should be everywhere. If it were in Haryana, we wouldn't have to come this far. Rohtak would have been closer otherwise," said Kishan, resident of Harayana.

The Gehlot government's free medicine scheme in the state has been appreciated by the WHO and many South Asian countries. The Gehlot government has also introduced free medial tests at the government hospitals just months before the Assembly elections.

"My dream of elections is now soon to be realized. In the polls these are the horses and this is the battlefield. We're a democracy, the people will decide between our five years of governance and theirs," Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister.

Though people welcome the free medicine and tests schemes by the state government, the question is can they put behind the basics yet to be addressed. Health care in Rajasthan has been in shambles with shortage of doctors, maternal deaths in Jodhpur and repeated doctors strikes.

The Opposition has also alleged that the medical schemes will only benefit drug manufacturers.

"This scheme will be remembered as a failure in Rajasthan. Its not going to get them any electoral gains, on the contrary the aam aadmi want to know why his interests are being compromised with the interests of the drug manufacturers," Jyoti Kiran, BJP Spokesperson.

However, the measures by the state government doesn't end here. The Rs 22,000 crore Jaipur metro project and Jodhpur metro, the Rs 55,000 crore refinery project in Barmer in partnership with HPCL, the Rs 2,000 crore project that will provide a monthly stipend to 2 million pensioners and another Rs 2,000 crore project to build houses for BPL families, along with distribution of sarees and blankets are some of the sops and schemes by the government on the pipeline.

Meanwhile the state exchequer is facing a debt and liability of Rs 1.71 lakh crore despite that a huge amount of money is being pumped in the state government.