Months ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will on Sunday launch a welfare scheme wherein eligible women will get a monthly assistance of Rs 1,000.
At least one lakh women from urban and rural areas from various parts of the state are expected to take part in the function to be held at Jamboree Maidan in the state capital, officials said on Saturday. The BJP is seeking another straight term under Chief Minister Chouhan in the polls, due later this year.
With the launch of the "Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna Scheme", the government aims to reach out to one crore women in the state for which a provision of Rs 8,000 crore has been made in the Budget presented recently. Under this scheme, women will be given Rs 1,000 assistance per month with certain riders including that they are not Income Tax payees, as per a government official.
"The government will launch the scheme on March 5 (which happens to be the birthday of Chouhan) by filling out a form or two. After a pause due to the Holi festival, potential beneficiaries can submit forms from March 15 to April 30," officials said. After scrutiny, a list of beneficiaries will be put out on May 1 and the final list on May 31, they added.
The beneficiaries will start receiving the financial aid in their accounts from June 10 and every month thereafter. In the recently-tabled Rs 3.14 lakh crore Budget, the state government has provisioned Rs 1.02 lakh crore for women, up by 22 per cent from the last budget.
The women whose annual family income is below Rs 2.5 lakh are expected to reap the benefits of the "Ladli Behna Yojana", the officials said, adding that the number of women voters in Madhya Pradesh is 2,60,23,733. In at least 18 of 230 Assembly segments in MP, women outnumber the male voters including in tribal-dominated Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Alirajpur and Jhabua districts.
The number of new women voters has gone up by 2.79 per cent and of their male counterparts by 2.30 per cent, officials said. Of the 13.39 lakh new voters, 7.07 lakh are women.
The BJP lost the 2018 Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh against Congress by a whisker after being 15 years in power. However, after 15 months, it captured power when 22 MLAs of Congress rebelled, leading to the collapse of the Kaman Nath-led government.