New Delhi: From establishing a connection with the rural population via his ‘pad yatras’ to trying to connect rural areas with banks, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to gain lost turf for the party in Uttar Pradesh. Further raising the political ante, the Congress scion has included Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee within the poll 2012 preparations.

At Gandhi’s behest, the Finance Minister will assist the Congress scion to promote Centre's ‘Swabhiman’ scheme in the former’s parliamentary constituency, Amethi. The scheme aims to provide banking facilities for financial inclusion of rural areas.

A workshop aimed at creating awareness about this banking scheme will be held in Amethi on December 24.  According to sources, the workship will be presided over by Rahul Gandhi.

In the workshop, Pranab Mukherjee will raise awareness among the villagers about the new banking scheme being launched by the government.

Notably, the purpose of this scheme is to free the farmers from the clutches of middlemen usurping the benefits of the government funds and plans meant for the villagers in Uttar Pradesh.

Keeping the date of election notification in mind, December 24 has been selected for the workshop.

Two years ago, the Centre had planned to set up self-banking services in 73,000 villages under the Swabhiman scheme. As per the plan, the government had to connect 16,270 villages with banking services till March 2012. However, only 8820 villages have been connected with banking facilites so far .

(JPN/Bureau)