‘Pradhan Mantri’ replaces ‘Indira Gandhi’ in govt maternity benefit scheme
The government has renamed the Matritva Sahyog Yojana-- a scheme to give Rs 6,000 to pregnant and lactating mothers for the first live birth-- as Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), yet another instance of the PM’s name prefixed to a government programme.
Last week the Union cabinet had cleared the scheme. Government sources said the scheme’s name was changed to make it more appealing. “The earlier name did not ring a bell. Many targeted beneficiaries were not even aware,” said a senior Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry official.
This is the second time that the scheme’s name has been changed. When it was launched way back in 2010 it was called the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana. After coming to power in 2014, the NDA government dropped “Indira Gandhi” from the scheme.
PMMVY is the latest to be affixed with Pradhan Mantri. Since 2014, over a dozen schemes have been launched/re-launched across ministries, that have been affixed with PM.
These include the PM Dhan Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana, PM Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, PM Gram Sinchai Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, PM Khanij Kshetra Yojana , PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana among others.
The BJP’s political adversaries have been accusing the ruling dispensation of centralizing everything around the Prime Minister who remains the party’s most popular face.
“Unlike UPA era when programs were named after the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the BJP led NDA government has mostly done away with the practice. Instead of naming schemes after some person, they are using Pradhan Mantri, which is a neutral term. The idea is to project the PM as the face associated with development,” said a senior BJP leader.
It’s a similar strategy that the BJP has used in a string of state assembly elections in the last three years. “Be it Bihar or the recent Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand polls. The party did not project a CM face. In the recent state assembly elections, for instance, the campaign revolved around PM Narendra Modi and his style of development oriented, corruption free governance. And the strategy worked,” said another BJP leader who did not want to be quoted.