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This Election, It’s Raining Houses and Pattas in Madhya Pradesh

Kashif Kakvi |
Congress has accused the ruling BJP government of ‘copying’ their schemes after failing to keep PM’s and CM’s promise.
Madhya Pradesh elections

Bhopal: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has floated a new 'awas scheme' aimed at reaching out to five lakh people, including 3.78 lakh applicants who were deprived under the PM Awas Yojna. After slashing LPG (cooking gas) rates to Rs 450 to reach out to women consumers, the Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna Awas Yojna is the latest move of the ruling saffron government to ride over the undercurrent of anti-incumbency after 18 years of rule.  

Both the schemes have played a key role in shaping the mandate of the 2018 Assembly and the 2019 parliamentary polls.

On Sunday, Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the housing scheme in Bhopal at a programme organised at Kushabhau Thackeray Auditorium by approving the applications of two beneficiaries -- Mamta Chauhan and Deepak Bansal.  

The BJP government's move to expand the housing scheme comes in the backdrop of its 'Housing for all scheme by 2022', which has remained a distant dream for people, causing embarrassment to the ruling party leaders. To make up for this, in the run-up to the Assembly polls due later this year, the saffron government launched Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna Awas Yojna, Bhu-Awas yojana and introduced the Suraj policy to provide pattas and homes to the homeless or marginalised sections.

According to the official communique, the government has launched the scheme with a view to extending housing benefits to those deprived families who did not get homes under any government scheme. Homeless eligible families of all categories will get benefits under it.

The four-page notification issued to district collectors, says that families whose monthly income is less than Rs 12,000/month, no member of the family is an income-tax payer or whose applications have been automatically rejected on the Awas plus App portal under the "Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (rural) despite being eligible, will be covered under this scheme.

Families who have been left out of being registered on the MIS portal of the government of India or were not included in the list of social, economic and caste census 2011 and Awas Plus and have not got housing in any government scheme, will be eligible under the scheme. 

Those who have 2.5 acres or more of irrigated agricultural land and more than 5 acres of non-irrigated agricultural land or own a four-wheeler, will not be eligible for this scheme. With a deadline of October 5, 2023, the government is estimated to have received over five lakh forms under the new scheme so far.

The applications received will be registered on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Rural Portal. After verification by the district panchayat officer, the state government will take action for allotment of houses to the eligible families.

According to the Assembly data, 47.55 lakh homes under the PM Awas Yojana [Rural/Urban] were sanctioned in the state in 2023, of which 39 lakh have been completed. 

It’s Raining Houses

The Madhya Pradesh government also launched the CM Awasiya Bhu-Adhikar Yojana and CM Nagriye Bhu-Adhikar Yojana with an aim to provide homes to the marginalised or homeless people in the run-up to the polls. Government data says that around 40,000 families have been given pattas till August under both the schemes.

Apart from the Ladli Behna Awas Yojana and Bhu Awas yojana, in February 2023, the state cabinet passed the Suraj Policy-2023 for construction of houses for the homeless, economically weaker sections (EWS) on the land made available from clearing encroachments after April 1, 2020. With its “anti-mafia” drive, the government claims to have freed 21,000 acres worth Rs 15,000 crore.

The government has launched a slew of housing schemes in the run-up to the polls after they failed to provide homes to the marginalised or homeless by 2022, as promised by PM Modi and CM Chouhan in 2018 and 2019 polls. 

After the opposition Congress's promise of LPG cylinder at Rs 500 gaining ground, CM Chouhan last week launched a gas cylinder refilling scheme at Rs 450 only to Ladli Bhena [woman cardholders] including Ujjwala cardholders.

Notably, the state has over 90 lakh gas connections including 80 lakh connections under the Ujjwala scheme. Of these, only 35 % women own the connection. Hence, out of 1.31 crore Ladli Behna, only 30 lakh women would benefit from the scheme.  

Reacting on the welfare schemes, Congress leader and Madhya Pradesh in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the BJP for withholding 3.30 lakh pattas allocated to the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by the Digvijaya Singh-led Madhya Pradesh government in 1993-2003. 

He also accused BJP of copying Congress schemes in the run-up to the Assembly polls. "I have urged state Congress president Kamal Nath ji to not make any further announcements till the model code of conduct kicks in," Surjewala added.

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