Rakshabandhan Surprise: Madhya Pradesh Beneficiaries Receive Additional Rs 250 Under Ladli Behna Yojana
Early Rakshabandhan gifts arrived for beneficiaries under the CM Ladli Behna Yojana in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh as they received Rs 250 over and above their monthly dole of Rs 1,000 under the scheme. The state government said this was a special allowance from chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for 1.25 crore women.
The rakhi surprise does not end here. While beneficiaries will receive the regular payout of Rs 1,000 on the 10th of the next month, this amount will be increased to Rs 1,250 from October, as was first reported by Smartkhabrinews.
“Aaj, abhi, isi kshan, single click se, tumhare khate mein, mai rakhi ke liye dhaiso rupaye dalne ka kaam kar raha hun (Right this moment, in a single click I’ll be sending you Rs 250 for rakhi),”
Addressing a large gathering of women in Bhopal’s Jamburi Maidan on Sunday, Chouhan said, holding a small button, “I promised you that I am arranging money and, as and when it happens, I will increase this monthly amount. Did I or did I not say that? Now listen, my sisters, I promised you that I will first increase it to Rs 1,250. When I deposit Rs 1,000, it costs Rs 15,000 crore. Each month, I need to deposit Rs 1,200 crore. If I increase it to Rs 1,250, then I will have to deposit an additional Rs 400 crore every month. I have arranged the money. This month, you are getting that amount taking this (rakhi gift) into consideration. But from October, bank accounts of my sisters will get credited with Rs 1,250 every month,” he said.
Rakhi Surprise and Reservations
If that was not all, he did not shy away from announcing that the state government will reserve 35 percent of its posts for women. Amid rising inflation, another concern for women who essentially run households has been electricity costs. For this, Chouhan announced that the electricity department will not force them to pay up. He also promised that he is working to ensure that the power bills of “poor sisters” are only Rs 100. However, he did not make it clear if it will come with riders.
What he did make clear is that he wants women – his target group – to appreciate the massive fiscal balancing he has had to do to get them these “freebies”. The CM’s announcement of LPG cylinder at Rs 450 in the ongoing Sawan month will definitely work as a balm for women from economically weaker sections, or so the BJP expects. However, he has not clarified if the subsidy will be available even after this month or not.
Progress of Ladli Behna Yojana
Earlier, MP BJP media cell head Lokendra Parashar told Smartkhabrinews, “The target for the monthly amount of Ladli Behna Yojana is to reach Rs 3,000 per month for 1.25 crore women. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government will reach that mark before November.” The assembly election is expected to be held in November. The urge to fast-track efforts to make the BJP’s ‘freebies’ look more attractive seems to be guided by tall claims made by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi at a rally in Madhya Pradesh in June.
“Every month, women will be given Rs 1,500. Gas cylinders will be available for Rs 500 and 100 units of electricity will be free. The cost of 200 units will be halved. The old pension scheme will be implemented in Madhya Pradesh, and poor farmers in heavy debt will get a complete loan waiver,” she had said during the rally.
It is widely perceived that a weakening Congress managed to win two states – first Karnataka and then Himachal Pradesh – riding on its ‘freebie’ promise that the BJP claims to have shunned so far. The saffron camp is unlikely to further take that risk with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections less than a year away and all state elections having a direct bearing on it.
As the CM Chouhan-led government in Madhya Pradesh increases the monthly allowance under the Ladli Behna Yojana and offers various subsidies and benefits to women, the political landscape in the state is undergoing significant changes. With elections approaching, both the ruling party and the opposition are vying to attract voters through different schemes and promises.
Whether these initiatives will yield the desired results for the parties or not remains to be seen. However, it is evident that women’s empowerment and financial well-being have taken center stage in the political discourse, setting the tone for the upcoming elections and policy decisions in the state.