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Khattar announces free travel for Kashi pilgrims, sops for backward classes

Slew of announcements: CM makes announcements in Kaithal to woo dalits; government also to fill 300 seats reserved.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2018 10:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kaithal
Khattar,Haryana CM,free travel
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar being feted during a function on birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas in Kaithal. (HT Photo)

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday announced that the state government will provide free travel facility to pilgrims from Haryana to Kashi in Uttar Pradesh.

Making this announcement at a rally on the 641st birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas in Kaithal, the chief minister added, “The facility will be provided on first-come, first-served basis in Indian railways from next year (2019). Every year, about 5,000 people could avail it.”

The move holds significance as the BJP’s campaign for 2019 Parliamentary polls is also slated to start from Kashi. Kashi is the birth place of Sant Ravidas and the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Slew of slops
  • Free of cost pilgrimage to Kashi—the birthplace of Ravidas
  • Annual income limit will be increased from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh under the ‘Medhavi Chhatra Protsahan Yojana’. This decision is expected to benefit about 15,000 students.
  • 10% reservation in jobs for the SCs and BCs under the Outsourcing Policy.
  • Antyodaya Karyalaya’ to be set up at each tehsil in the state. They will inform people about 300 different schemes being implemented by various departments.
  • Recruitment underway to fill 300 backlog posts reserved for SCs and BCs.

Interestingly, the BJP government in Haryana is already facing criticism for wasting crores of rupees in organising the International Gita Jayanti Mahotsav in Kurukshetra.

Last year, the state government had arranged two special trains for thousands of pilgrims from Ambala and Sirsa on December 22 to the Patna Sahib gurdwara in Bihar to attend the concluding ceremony of the 350th Prakash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh.

The free travel facility for pilgrims is not a new trend. In January 2106, the then SAD-BJP government in neighbouring Punjab had also provided free religious tours to pilgrims from all 117 assembly constituencies of the state under the ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra Scheme’ through special trains and ₹139 crore was reportedly spent on the scheme during 2016-17.

The chief minister also announced raising the limit of annual income from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh for the beneficiaries of ‘Medhavi Chhatra Protsahan Yojana’. This decision would benefit about 15,000 students. Also, a provision of 10% reservation would be made in jobs under Outsourcing Policy Part I and II. This would also be increased in the next phase.

He also announced that an ‘Antyodaya Karyalaya’ would be established in each tehsil office in the state which would have an Antyodaya Officer.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 10:06 IST