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From L.S. Herdenia

BHOPAL: A mega show was staged in Bhopal on Monday, December 5, 2016 obviously to celebrate 11 year rule of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. More than ten thousand buses were mobilised to bring about 5 lakh people to participate in the show. The show was organised by the government. Officials, party MPs, MLAs, other party functionaries were given quota of persons they should bring them to Bhopal.

Though the show was named as Training Programme on Public Welfare Schemes but for all practical purposes, its hidden objective was to boost image of the Chief Minister.

On the part of the Chief Minister, he announced several schemes to win over the poor masses keeping in view the Assembly elections to be held in 2018. Commenting on the event a local newspaper wrote “Unlike other politicians, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan does not wait till the eve of general election day to announce measures aimed at appeasing prospective voters”.

Chouhan on Sunday announced that Deendayal kitchens would be launched in select cities of the state, so that construction workers can get meals at a mere Rs 5 per head. He also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the families of labourers and farmers who die during the course of their work. While the family of a labourer who meets his demise before attaining 40 years of age would get Rs 2 lakh, relatives of those meeting accidental deaths would be entitled to double that amount.

The chief minister made these announcements, while addressing a massive gathering of welfare scheme beneficiaries at a Jan Kalyan Yojna Prashikshan Sammelan (Jan Kalyan Scheme Training Workshop) in the city. Various ministers from his cabinet, state BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste attended the event held at Jamboree Maidan. Chouhan said the government would join hands with private sector companies to ensure proper lodging for labourers. “We will not allow them to live like flies and mosquitoes in slums,” he added.

The chief minister had something for those planning to tie the knot too. He announced free smart phones for newly-wed couples under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna and Mukhyamantri Nikah Yojna, apart from other provisions that would help promote cashless transactions in the state.

Besides this, Chouhan said a law aimed at providing space for houses to landless labourers would be introduced in the budget session of the state assembly soon. “If land is not available, the government may even purchase land for them. If there’s a space constraint, flats would be provided in multi-storeyed buildings. A landless person in a rural area will get Rs 1.20 lakh for constructing his house and Rs 12,000 for a toilet. Similarly, a landless person in an urban area will get Rs 3 lakh – Rs 1.5 lakh of which would come from the Centre,” he said.

The chief minister also announced skill development training for as many as 7.5 lakh people every year, and loans for a similar number under the self-employment scheme.

Blaming the country’s growing rich-poor divide on the erstwhile Congress government at the Centre, Chouhan asked the people to draw inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘Na khaunga na khaane dunga’. Praising Modi’s campaign against black money, he said cashless transactions would be promoted in Madhya Pradesh to ensure transparency. Everybody from ministers to MLAs and government officials would be trained in these matters, he added.

Chouhan also asked traders to conduct transactions through point of sale machines to derive incentives and tax exemptions.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeal to Jan Dhan account holders not to return the money deposited in their accounts by black money hoarders, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday echoed similar views while lauding the Centre’s demonetisation move.

“It has happened for the first time in history when the rich knocked on the door of the poor and urged them to park their money in the Jan Dhan accounts,” Chouhan said.

“PM has already said ‘don’t return the money to them. If they ask you to return their money write a letter to the PM and also the CM’. There is no need to return the money. PM is in the process for formulating a scheme in this regard,” he said, drawing a rapturous applause from the audience.

Blaming the Congress for the chasm between the rich and the poor in the country, he said there was a section of people who with their wisdom or muscle power possessed massive wealth. “Corruption too played a major role in widening the gap between the two sides,” he said.
Chouhan said, “There are some who are living a luxurious life in skyscrapers, having amassed massive wealth, whereas the poor continue to suffer. They face the cold wave during winters and lose their life in summers and rains.”

He went on to depict the contrast between the rich and the poor through a couplet-“Koi taras raha ujiyaare, koi Suraj baandhe sota hai, aisa kyun hota hai, aisa kyun hota hai?”
(IPA Service)

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