Pelf Help Or Poll Dole!!??
?WE WILL vote for Mulayam?, commented Sandhya Bajpai as she walked off after getting Rs 4000 unemployment allowance for her family. Daughter of a teacher in Bakhshi ka Talab, Sandhya had come to receive the allowance along with her unemployed married brother Rajesh Kumar, his wife Pratibha and sister Renu Bajpai. There were many more such voices as Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav rolled out his election bonanza in the election year.Updated: Jun 18, 2006 00:04 IST
“WE WILL vote for Mulayam”, commented Sandhya Bajpai as she walked off after getting Rs 4000 unemployment allowance for her family. Daughter of a teacher in Bakhshi ka Talab, Sandhya had come to receive the allowance along with her unemployed married brother Rajesh Kumar, his wife Pratibha and sister Renu Bajpai. There were many more such voices as Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav rolled out his election bonanza in the election year.
This would be music to the chief minister’s ears, as his ‘cash-for-vote mantra’ has all the potential to yield positive electoral result. The promise to increase the amount from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 also had an electrifying effect on the jobless youth, who hardly had any hope to get employment in the near future.
But for the opposition, the dole was simply an election gimmick. While UPCC president Salman Khurshid dubbed the scheme simply as ‘booth-capturing’ allowance, State BJP president Keshari Nath Tripathi said with the election round the corner, Yadav had resorted to all sorts of stunts. Tripathi said Yadav had been preparing ‘election workers’ by misutilising government money. He said it was indeed a paradox that in the ongoing government recruitment like in the police, money was being taken from candidates and the chief minister was giving it out to the jobless. He said instead of wasting money, the government should make arrangements for permanent jobs.
But unmindful of the criticism, the chief minister is happy over the success of his political game plan. Cash for votes is not a new phenomenon, as other political parties had made similar promises in the past. The process of disbursement of allowance would continue up to the assembly election early next year, to keep the party tempo high among 40 percent powerful youth force in the State. The chief minister has issued strict directives to the labour department that there should not be any bungling in the disbursement. The memory of large scale bungling in BTC teachers’ appointment at the fag end of Rajnath Singh regime in 2001-02 is still fresh in mind.
The ruling Samajwadi Party, which is in distress because of activities of ministers, MLAs and district leaders, has fallen back on frontal organisations to mobilise youth in the state. Kannauj MP Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as the youth mascot of the party. The party leaders hope that ‘cash flow’ to the youth in the election year would largely help in warding off the anti-incumbency factor. But Tripathi doesn’t believe so. He said graduate jobless youth, who had attained age of discretion, knew “good and bad” very well.
He said on the one hand, Yadav had been giving allowance and on the other, those in the job for several years, were being removed. He said a large number of employees were being removed from Hindi Sansthan, as irregularities were committed in the appointment. “Instead of punishing the officers, employees were being punished”, Tripathi commented.
However, the distribution is going to be a stupendous exercise in next few months for the labour department. Already, there are reports about bungling in the preparation of identity card and domicile certificate for this purpose. The government would dole out Rs 400 crore to jobless youth during the current fiscal year. The amount could go up if the chief minister decides to increase the allowance at the time of election. After Lucknow, the youth have been eagerly waiting for their turn in other divisions.
The State Government has sanctioned Rs 20.85 crore for the seven districts of Gorakhpur and Basti divisions for nearly 75,000 jobless graduates. Thousands of applicants have submitted their forms at the employment exchange in Gorakhpur and the first list of eligible candidates for the allowances, will be published in the last week of June after scrutinising the forms.
Employment Exchange officer Sushil Kumar said that there were 23,236 graduate and postgraduate registered unemployed in the district till February 28. Out of them there were 8,666 girls. The government has sanctioned Rs 6.25 crore for the Gorakhpur district. There are 16,773 registered unemployed graduates in Deoria, 10,924 in Kushinagar and 6,698 in Maharajganj district of the division.
While in Basti and Sant Kabir Nagar district there are 16,700 unemployed and in Siddharth Nagar their strength is around 3000.
A team of six officials along with one dozen clerical staff have been deployed to register application forms and to scrutinise certificates. He admitted that getting the unemployment allowances would not be an easy job, as applicants are facing hardships in submitting domicile certificates. Some of the students have yet not received their degree and certificate from UP Board and concerning university and their application forms will not be entertained.
In the second phase, application forms will be submitted from the second week of July and the remaining registered unemployed could submit their application form in second and third phase.
In Allahabad, there was flurry of activity at employment exchange to complete the process. No last date has also been fixed to receive applications. Those failing to apply by June 26, will further be able to apply for the same from July 6.
No last date has been fixed in the case of second option also. About 30,000 registrations had been done in Allahabad till February 28. While the registration was done on the basis of the high school certificate, in the second phase, applicants were required to show proof of bank account in any nationalised bank. They are also required to submit an affidavit of being unemployed along with other documents like mark sheets and certificates.
Similarly, around 13,000 unemployed youth have filed their application forms with the employment exchange offices in Varanasi. Regional Employment Officer of Employment Exchange Office in Varanasi, Bhola Rai said that about 5000 unemployed youths out of total 20,000 registered unemployed youths had submitted their application forms so far in Varanasi, whereas 2000 youths out of total 8000 registered unemployed youths had submitted their application forms in Chandauli district.
He said that 3895 unemployed youth out of total 54 000 registered unemployed youths had submitted their application forms in Jaunpur, whereas 2000 registered unemployed youths had submitted their application forms in Ghazipur district. Rai said that registered unemployed youths of Varanasi division could avail allowance for three months in July. The amount would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of youths.
The government has allocated Rs 25 crore for Varanasi division. While nearly 20,000 graduate unemployed youth are registered at Kanpur employment exchange, thousands of youth have been still applying with a bank account number on their forms. At least 1000 graduate unemployed youth are getting themselves enrolled with the employment exchange every day for this purpose.
First Published: Jun 18, 2006 00:04 IST