Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, on Monday, announced a scheme to provide the poor with free smartphones. However, speaking at the inauguration of Ala Hazrat Haj House at Mohan Nagar, he added that smartphones will be delivered only when the Samajwadi Party (SP) government comes back to power after the Vidhan Sabha elections in 2017.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India scheme, Yadav said it was the SP government that had distributed a maximum number of free laptops.
“World’s largest free laptop distribution scheme was started by us. Over 18 lakh laptops were distributed. Now, we promise to distribute free smartphones if we come back to power,” the CM said.
A statement released by the UP government said that online registration for the scheme will start within a month. “The beneficiaries of the scheme will be those who work in the private sector and whose annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh. Those whose parents have government jobs are not eligible. The selection process will be transparent and the smartphone will be delivered at the beneficiary’s doorstep,” the statement said. The beneficiary should be 18 years or above on January 1, 2017 and a resident of UP. The statement said that the registration process has been made online to prevent corruption. Smartphones will be delivered on first-come-first-serve basis and the only a high school certificate is required.
In his speech, Yadav, also said that there will be no discrimination in distribution. “People accuse us of vote bank politics. They can check the data of our laptop distribution scheme and they will find that we have never discriminated against any caste or religion. Moreover, the selection process has been transparent. Same will be followed in the smartphone scheme,” he said.
According to the statement released by the government, the smartphone will be a medium for two way communication between the government and the public. It will be equipped with all the latest mobile applications that will be of use for the rural population, youth, students and small time businessmen.