HYDERABAD: Finance Minister K. Rosaiah approached Chief Electoral Officer I. V. Subba Rao with yet another poser on Tuesday, this time seeking to know whether the pictures of Rajiv Gandhi and Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Arogyasri health cards came under the model election code.
The CEO instantly clarified that all the Arogyasri health cards that had been issued to 1.83 crore beneficiaries before the code came into effect on March 2, with pictures of Rajiv Gandhi and Dr Rajasekhara Reddy, could be continued without a hindrance. But, no new cards could be issued now. If any patient belonging to a poor family not possessing the health card suffered from any ailment, he could yet get the free treatment at a corporate hospital as envisaged under the health scheme by showing documents like white ration card. The CEO appreciated the Arogyasri as “beneficial to the poor” and said one should not misunderstand that the EC had ordered stoppage of the scheme. He had already issued clarification to A. Babu, chief executive officer, Rajiv Arogyasri Healthcare Trust, which was implementing the scheme in coordination with an insurance company.