Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal seems to be harping on the Centre’s subsidised cooking gas connection scheme — Pradhanmantri Ujjwala Yojana — to brighten up SAD-BJP alliance’s prospects in the coming polls. She sought mandate from the womenfolk who had gathered for the connections in Bathinda on Monday.
In all, 309 LPG connections under the scheme were distributed at the event, with similar events organised at two other places in and around Bathinda.
Among the beneficiaries were women who already have been using LPG for cooking at home, but they didn’t complain about having another one at subsidised rate. The scheme actually is meant for families belonging to the below-poverty line (BPL) category to discourage use of wood or charcoal for cooking at home.
“The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Badal sahib (chief minister Parkash Singh Badal) have only one dream — to uplift the poor and improve their lives. This scheme of giving gas connections is an initiative in that direction,” the Bathinda Lok Sabha member said.
A random check from among the beneficiary women revealed that many already had LPG connections at home in the name of some other member in the family.
Gurmail Kaur happily shared that she already had an LPG connection, adding two cylinders will make things better for refilling. She was ignorant that the scheme was meant only for those who did not have an LPG connection.
- Faridkot: Applicants 26,000, approved 6,000
- Ferozepur: Applicants 44,000, approved13,500
- Fazilka: Applicants 20,000, approved 2,000
- Barnala: Applicants 21,145, approved 11,700
- Moga: Applicants 25000, approved 13,000
- Mansa: Applicants 35,000, approved 14,000
She was among over 300 beneficiaries who were ferried by different gas agencies for the event, and were given the connection documents, along with the gas stove and cylinder.
Shankar Lal, a gas agency worker had brought his wife Savitri Devi who was enlisted as a beneficiary. The couple already has a connection in Shankar’s name. Same was the case with Shiv Kumar and his wife Kanyawati.
When confronted on the issue, Harsimrat acknowledged that many beneficiaries might be having LPG connections. “These connections are given as per the ‘socio-economic census 2011’. It is possible that a few might have got the connection after that,” she said.
As per official figures, the Akali-BJP government has identified 11,000 women from among the 45,000 blue card holders in Bathinda district.