BJP chief Amit Shah attacked the previous Congress-led UPA government saying it left empty coffers after a 10-year rule which was posing difficulty for the NDA to work for the poor. “The UPA government had left us with empty coffers because of which it was not possible for the present government to do anything for the poor,” Shah said speaking at the launch of the second phase of ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ at Dahod in Gujarat.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Rajasthan CM, Vasundhara Raje, were present on the occasion.
The BJP chief compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign urging well off people to give up LPG subsidy to that of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri’s call for voluntarily giving up one meal to deal with food shortage.
As soon as the prime minister took over, he took steps to remove corruption and curb black marketing by direct transfer of Rs 13,000 crore into the bank accounts of poor people. He also initiated ‘give it up’ scheme and appealed to the well-to-do people to give up gas subsidy for the sake of country’s poor. The response to the appeal was unprecedented,” Shah said.
Highlighting the benefits of ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’, Shah said, no other scheme can provide women better empowerment.”Six crore women will get gas connections, which is the best example of women empowerment and poverty alleviation,” he said.
Modi had launched the programme from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh on May 1 which aims to cover five crore beneficiaries for which Rs 8,000 crore has been earmarked. The tribal beneficiaries from Jhabua in MP, Pratapnagar and Dungarpur in Rajasthan, and from Dahod and Panchmahals in Gujarat were given LPG connections. Pradhan said within three years, five crore families will get LPG connections for which Rs 8,000 crore finance will be provided.
“This financial year alone, one crore new connections will be provided for which Rs 2,000 crore have been earmarked. In Gujarat, in the coming days, we will provide 25 lakh new connections, most of which will be targeted at,” Pradhan said. The minister also said that the government was not passing on the entire benefit of reduction in global crude oil price to the public so that the remaining money was diverted to the programmes oriented towards the pool.