Ladli behna yojana: The Madhya Pradesh government today (June 10) transferred Rs 1,000 each to the accounts of 1.25 crore women in the state as it rolled out the ‘Ladli Behna Yojana’, a scheme billed as a game-changer by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the poll-bound state.
Assembly elections are due by the year-end in the BJP-governed Madhya Pradesh. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan pressed a button at an event at the Garrison Ground in Jabalpur to transfer the first dole of the scheme under which beneficiaries will receive Rs 1,000 a month.
Addressing the function, he said that the scheme will empower women socially and economically. The beneficiaries can withdraw the money from Sunday (June 11) onwards. Chouhan said the government plans to slowly and gradually raise the amount to Rs 3,000 depending on the state’s finances.
With the Ladli Behna scheme, the BJP government in MP would be able to reach out to about half of the 2.6 crore women voters in the state. Women voters outnumber their male peers in at least 18 of the 230 assembly constituencies in MP, as per an estimate. These areas include the tribal-dominated Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Alirajpur and Jhabua districts.
When Ladli behna scheme was launched:
After he launched the scheme on his 65th birthday on March 5 in Bhopal, Chouhan has taken part in several Ladli Behna functions across MP in the past two months braving the scorching summer. Under the scheme, women aged between 23-60 years are eligible to receive Rs 1,000 per month with certain riders, including that they are not income tax payees and their families' annual income is below Rs 2.5 lakh.
New women voter data gone up in Madhya Pradesh:
A provision of Rs 8,000 crore has been made for the scheme in the state budget. The number of new women voters in MP 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 official records.
The roll-out of the scheme comes ahead of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra kickstarting her party's campaign with a rally in Jabalpur on Monday. Congress leaders claimed Gandhi had announced Rs 1,500 to eligible women under the 'Nari Samman Nidhi' in the run-up to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls in December 2022 and that Chouhan had copied the move for his 'Ladli Behna Yojana'.
The last MP Assembly polls held on November 28, 2018, did not give a clear majority to any single party. The Congress emerged as the largest party with 114 seats in the 230-member House, while the BJP won 109 seats. The Congress formed a coalition government under Kamal Nath, but it fell in March 2020 after several MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia switched over to the BJP, paving the way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to return as chief minister.
(With PTI inputs)