BJP is bank­ing on Ujjwala scheme as a vote catcher for 2019

More than 3.51 crore LPG con­nec­tions have been made in BPL house­holds un­der this scheme; 1.54 cr ben­e­fi­cia­ries are Sched­uled Castes and Sched­uled Tribes.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation - ABHINANDAN MISHRA NEW DELHI

The BJP is hope­ful that the five crore BPL fam­i­lies who would have ben­e­fit­ted from the Cen­tre’s highly suc­cess­ful Ujjwala Yo­jana Scheme by March 2019, will help it storm back to power in 2019.

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yo­jana ( PMUY), which was started in May 2016, in­tends to pro­vide LPG con­nec­tions to at least five crore Be­low-Pover­tyLine fam­i­lies by next year. The ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this scheme have been iden­ti­fied from the So­cio-Eco­nomic Caste Cen­sus, 2011 (SECC).

“The re­sponse of the scheme has been very pos­i­tive from all across the coun­try. We have been get­ting re­ports from our work­ers and MPs that the scheme is gen­er­at­ing a lot of good­will among the BPL fam­i­lies who for the first time have got ac­cess to LPG con­nec­tion. You can just imag­ine that when these five crore fam­i­lies (which trans­lates to more than 10 crore vot­ers) go out to vote, what will be in their mind. This scheme has im­pacted the life of the poor pos­i­tyively, es­pe­cially those who are liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas. This is one scheme we are very proud of and we are hope­ful that it will help us very elec­torally,” a se­nior BJP leader said.

As of now, more than 3.51 crore LPG con­nec­tions have been made in BPL house­holds un­der this scheme.

Out of this, as per the data compiled by the gov­ern­ment, 44% of the to­tal ben­e­fi­cia­ries (ap­prox­i­mately 1.54 crore) are from the Sched­uled Caste (SC) and the Sched­uled Tribe ( ST) com­mu­nity.

In Ut­tar Pradesh, where the SCs make up for 21% of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of the state, 40 % of the to­tal LPG con­nec­tions un­der the scheme have been is­sued to SC BPL fam­i­lies.

In Haryana, where the SC pop­u­la­tion is 19 %, 48% of the to­tal con­nec­tions have the SCs.

Union pe­tro­leum and nat­u­ral gas min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Pradhan, who is lead­ing the ini­tia­tive, had said on 8 Fe­bru­ary that as per his in­for­ma­tion 80% of the ben- efi­cia­ries who have availed of the ben­e­fit of the scheme had ap­plied for a re­fill.

In or­der to make sure that it just does not re­main a scheme that is launched in files, the min­istry has been or­gan­is­ing vil­lage level en­rol­ment camps, so that the scheme can be availed with­out go­ing to towns.

AADHAR has been made manda­tory to make sure that no si­phon­ing off, or du­pli­ca­tion, or peo­ple avail- ing mul­ti­ple con­nec­tions is done.

“The en­tire cost (Rs 1600, in­clud­ing the cost of cylin­der, pres­sure reg­u­la­tor, pipe, record book, in­stal­la­tion charges) is be­ing borne by the gov­ern­ment. We have even pro­vided that the ben­e­fi­ciary can use EMI op­tion to pay for the stove and the first re­fill. We know that many ben­e­fi­cia­ries will not come back for re­fill for one rea­son or the other but this is a habit (us­ing LPG gas) that needs to be in­cul­cated and will come grad­u­ally and slowly. Do not think that we are just do­ing this for elec­toral gains, we are also look­ing at the health ben­e­fits that it brings,” the func­tionary added.

As per stud­ies, more than 1 lakh In­di­ans die pre­ma­turely be­cause of the smoke that they in­hale while us­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods of cook­ing.

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