”Rahul signals cash scheme could be Cong trump card”

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi today signalled that the cash transfer scheme beginning from the New Year could be the Congress trump card in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections like the farmers loan waiver and NREGA earlier.

"Rahul Gandhi said that your money in your hands is definitely a political slogan. We are fully confident that we will move forward with it before 2014," Union Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters at a specially convened briefing here in AICC.

Ramesh also quoted Gandhi as saying that "your money in your hand is an effective instrument of Congress and the government to fight against corruption."

He was addressing the press hours after Gandhi conducted a closed-door special training session for 51 district Congress Presidents and Youth Congress Presidents on the scheme titled as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system. It has been hailed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram as a "game changer".

The scheme is being started in the districts on a pilot basis. Ramesh was one of Union Ministers along Chidambaram, who today addressed the district Congress leaders in Rahul's presence.

Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, who shared the dais with Ramesh at AICC, however, had a different take, saying while there will be people who could dub it a "political slogan, but "for us it is a scheme for the welfare of the people".

Ramesh also quoted Rahul as saying that Information Technology will have an important role in the fight against corruption and that the DBT system is "not just a scheme but a fundamental transformation of the delivery system".

Rahul also recalled the famous statement by his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi about that only 15 per cent money of the schemes meant for the beneficiaries reach them while the rest land in the hands of middlemen, he said.

"If we are successful in this system (DBT), 100 out of 100 rupees meant for the beneficiaries will reach them."