Uttarakhand to give 3 free LPG cylinders annually to 1.84 lakh families
DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal to provide 3 free LPG cylinders annually to 1.84 lakh Antyodaya card holders in the state. The move will incur an expenditure of ₹ 55 crore to the state exchequer annually.
Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami chaired the cabinet meeting in Dehradun.
The opposition Congress took strong objection to the announcement, saying it was a “clear violations of the model code of conduct” as notification for the Champawat bypoll has already been declared. Dhami is the BJP candidate for the bypoll.
Regarding Haridwar district panchayat election, it was decided that the advocate general would be informed about the legal aspect regarding the same and after that the cabinet will take a decision.
The cabinet also decided that in case of wheat procurement, farmers will get ₹20 per quintal bonus. The cabinet decided that officials who conduct artificial insemination of animals in the animal husbandry department will get ₹40 in the plains and ₹50 in the hilly areas. The cabinet decided that for construction works in Kedarnath Dham area, for the buildings which have to be increased from one floor to two floors, the contractor concerned, will do the work at the same rate.
During the February 14 assembly election, the BJP in its manifesto had promised three free LPG cylinders a year to the below poverty line (BPL) households. It was largely seen as a counter to Congress’s poll promise of providing LPG cylinder under ₹500 to every household in the state, if voted to power.
The Congress, however, termed the cabinet decision on Thursday as a violation of the model code of conduct as Champawat by-poll is scheduled on May 31.
Mathura Dutt Joshi, state Congress general secretary, said the cabinet decisions of providing three free LPG cylinders annually to 1.84 lakh Antyodaya card holders in the state and giving farmers ₹20 bonus per quintal of wheat are clear violations of the model code of conduct. “The Dhami government is clearly misusing its administrative machinery to influence voters in Champawat area,” he said.
Garima Dasauni, state Congress media in charge, said the cabinet decisions were Dhami’s attempts to maximise the chances of his victory in Champawat assembly byelection. “Such populist decisions show how Dhami is apprehensive about his victory in Champawat and how he is taking the help of such decisions to influence the voters,” she said.
The BJP welcomed the decision of the cabinet to give three cylinders in a year to the Antyodaya ration card holders in the state.
State BJP media in charge Manveer Singh Chauhan termed the decision of the government as historic and fulfilment of the promises made by the BJP government to the people in the state
Chauhan said the decision will benefit 184,142 Antyodaya ration card holders of the state. “This decision of the cabinet meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of chief minister Dhami, is going to fulfil the concept of welfare government. Within one and a half months of the formation of the government, this decision has been taken with a view to benefiting the people of the weaker sections and it will lessen the difficulties in their lives.”
Chauhan reiterated that the BJP government in the state is committed to fulfilling every promise made in the election manifesto.
The Congress’s Nirmala Gahtori is contesting assembly by-election from Champawat seat against Dhami. Polling is scheduled for May 31 and counting on June 3. Champawat seat has 96,016 voters and 63,370 of them exercised their franchise on February 14.
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