The Congress on Sunday said women in Madhya Pradesh will get a monthly aid of Rs 1,500 and a cooking gas cylinder will be made available for Rs 500 if the party is voted to power in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Making the announcement, state Congress president Kamal Nath slammed Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, saying the CM was making a slew of hollow promises before the polls to remain in power.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress are trying to outsmart each other to woo women voters in the state, where polls are due later this year.
Weeks earlier, Chouhan had launched ”Ladli Behna Yojana” rolling out a Rs 1,000 monthly help for women whose family income is less than 2.5 lakh per annum. A provision of Rs 8,000 crore was made in the recent state Budget proposal.
”Chouhanji has perfected the art of making hollow promises. He is announcing sops but these promises will never be implemented till the elections. If Congress forms a government in Madhya Pradesh, we will pay Rs 1,500 instead of Rs 1,000 to women per month. Besides, we are going to slash the price of the cooking cylinder to Rs 500 (which was more than Rs 1,100 now),” Nath told a public meeting here.
The former chief minister said the people of the state want a change and are eager to vote for Congress overwhelmingly to end Chouhan’s political career.
Chouhan had in the past accused the erstwhile Congress government led by Kamal Nath of neglecting poor women. The number of women voters in Madhya Pradesh is 2,60,23,733, and in at least 18 of the 230 Assembly segments, they outnumber male voters. These include tribal-dominated Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Alirajpur and Jhabua districts.
The number of new women voters has gone up by 2.79 per cent, while it is 2.30 per cent for male voters, officials said. Of the 13.39 lakh new voters, 7.07 lakh are women, as per officials.
After the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress, which won 114 seats in the 230-member House, formed a coalition government under Nath. The BJP had won 109 seats.
The Nath government fell in March 2020 after several MLAs loyal to then Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia defected to BJP, paving the way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to return as the chief minister.