Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, a scheme aimed at providing free LPG connections to the households of five crore BPL (below poverty line) women across the country, at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
Soon after landing here , Modi gave away subscription vouchers for free cooking gas connections to 10 women beneficiaries drawn from the state’s five eastern districts — Ballia, Ghazipur, Mau, Azamgarh and Deoria.
The PM in his address to the public on International Workers’ Day said the fight against poverty can be won only if poor labourers are empowered, paid well, and accorded better living conditions. Calling himself India’s Shramik number 1 (worker number 1).
Elaborating on the cooking gas scheme, he said, “I decided to provide free connection to BPL women because I know the kind of problems they face while cooking on ovens lit with firewood. As a child, I used to see my mother battling with smoke every day. Often, my house would be filled with smoke.”
Modi also picked on erstwhile governments for not taking any serious steps to empower India’s poor. “This government is for the poor. We have raised the minimum pension to Rs 1,000 and also introduced the labour identification number for your benefit.”
Modi, however, held that his visit to Ballia was not made with the upcoming assembly polls in mind. “I am not here to blow the poll bugle. Poll bugle toh matdata bajate hai,” he said.