MP: Ahead of Assembly polls, CM announces several sops for women
The Congress mocked the move with state unit chief Kamal Nath saying that the BJP was trying to salvage its sinking ship.
It’s raining sops for people in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections, as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced 35% women reservation in government jobs and LPG cylinders at Rs 450, apart from hiking the financial aid to women under the Ladli Behna Yojana from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,250 per month.
Assembly polls are expected to be held at the end of the year in MP, a state where women comprise more than half of the 13.39 lakh new voters and whose rise in numbers in the electoral list stands at 2.79 per cent against 2.30 per cent for men.
“Women will get cooking gas at Rs 450 in the holy month of Sawan. Later, a permanent system will be evolved in this regard. I have also transferred Rs 250 into the accounts of 1.25 crore women so that they can celebrate Rakhi (on Tuesday) well. The remaining Rs 1,000 (under Ladli Behna Yojana) will be credited in September,” he said.
As if it isn’t enough, Chief Minister Chouhan also gave a musical twist to the event, singing a popular Hindi song dedicated to his sisters (beneficiaries of Ladli Behna Yojana) apparently to woo the women voters. He also shared a video on Twitter crooning, “Dekh sakta hoon main kuch bhi hote hue, nahi main nahi dekh sakta tujhe rote hue”.
From October, 1.25 crore women will get Rs 1,250 (under Ladli Behna Yojana) and the amount will gradually be hiked to Rs 3,000 per month so that the aim of uplifting the economic and social condition of women is fulfilled, the CM said at an event connected to the scheme.
The CM also said the reservation for women in government jobs has been raised to 35 per cent from the current 30 per cent, while it will be 50 per cent in teachers’ recruitment.
As per state government data, a sum of Rs 3,628.85 crore has been given as financial aid to eligible women under the Ladli Behna Yojana that started on June 10 this year. As part of the scheme, women in the 23-60 age group get Rs 1,000 per month if they are not income tax payees and the annual income of their families is less than Rs 2.5 lakh annually.
Women voters outnumber their male counterparts in at least 18 of the 230 Assembly seats in MP, including in tribal-dominated areas like Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Alirajpur and Jhabua.
Hitting out at the sops ahead of Assembly polls, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath said on X, "I am often repeating that this BJP government was changing colours daily to salvage its sinking ship and is doing precious little for people." Even after ruling for 18 years, the BJP is playing tricks and resorting to gimmicks, which proves it can do no good for citizens, Nath claimed.
The Congress also wrote on X about its own poll promises like Rs 1,500 financial aid to women, gas cylinder for Rs 500, free power for up to 100 units, restoration of Old Pension Scheme, 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes and caste-based survey.
(With agency inputs)