Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday asserted that no starvation deaths have been reported in the state under his government, unlike under previous dispensations.
Soren, while addressing a gathering at an 'Aapki Yojana, Aapki Sarkar, Aapke Dwar' (AYASAD) programme in Potka block of East Singhbhum district, alleged, without naming the BJP, that the opposition had done nothing for the poor farmers, youths, elderly and widows despite being in power for over two decades since the formation of Jharkhand and was now pointing fingers at his government.
"They have a habit of throwing stones from a distance," Soren said.
The CM claimed that several starvation deaths were reported under previous governments despite the deceased having ration cards.
"They (previous governments) had deleted the ration cards of 11 lakh people whereas our government has issued 20 lakh green ration cards within our short span in power," he said.
"Unlike the previous double-engine government in the state, we did not let anyone die due to starvation, even during the COVID pandemic period... our government is working to ensure 'roti, kapda and makaan' (bread, cloth and home) for all," he said.
Soren further accused the opposition of "driving wedges in the society by engaging in politics of Hindu-Muslim, tribal-non-tribal and forward-backward, instead of wiping tears of the poor".
He claimed that none of the government officials or ministers had earlier bothered to visit rural areas to know the plight of the people and listen to their grievances but now the same officials visit even the most inaccessible areas to ensure that people avail the benefits of the welfare schemes.
AYASAD programme, which was launched in 2021, aims at making people aware of government schemes so that they avail the benefits and get their problems resolved by the government at their doorsteps, the CM said.
"We made the government officials come out of their air-conditioned rooms and take part in the AYASAD programme in villages. In the first two phases of the programme, 35 lakh and 55 lakh applications were received respectively and all problems were resolved at the doorsteps," he said.
Soren said his government has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for Abua Awas Yojna, under which three-room houses will be constructed for the poor.
He said 60,000 youths have already joined jobs in the private sector and many more will join in the future.
On Wednesday night, the CM addressed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Kolhan division workers' meeting here and directed the party activists to pull up their socks for the Lok Sabha polls followed by assembly elections next year.
-With PTI Input