In a bid to woo urban voters in Gujarat ahead of the assembly elections in December, the Congress has launched a scheme to provide affordable housing to women if voted to power.
The scheme’s success appears to have upset CM Narendra Modi, who described the distribution of application forms for houses as “a criminal act”.
“The opposition party is cheating people by making fake promises by distributing forms. This cannot be done by them as there is no guarantee that they will come to power after the polls,” said Modi.
The BJP strongman usually refrains from commenting on political activities and statements by state Congress leaders. Instead, he criticises PM Manmohan Singh and the UPA government at the Centre.
Thousands of women from the poor and lower middle class sections of society have been queuing up for application forms in eight cities and 159 towns in Gujarat.
Under the scheme meant for married women from poor and middle class families, only the construction cost will be charged with minimum interest rates to be paid in installments over a period of 15 years. Beneficiaries will have to make advance part-payments of Rs 70,000, Rs 1 lakh or Rs 1.8 lakh, respectively for three categories — A (one room, kitchen and toilet), B (one bedroom, hall, kitchen, toilet) and C (two bedrooms, hall, kitchen, toilet).
The Congress said 300,000 such houses will be constructed every year and allotment will be done through draws.
“We will distribute 20 lakh forms across the state. The forms will be collected at Congress offices and if voted to power, those who have given their forms will be given houses under the draw system,” said leader of Opposition in the assembly Shaktisinh Gohil.