PM Narendra Modi may have just lighted up his chances for 2019 Lok Sabha elections by launching a “monumental scheme” for the poor. For decades, various governments have focused on taking electricity to all parts of the country. The new scheme, however, targets each household across the country.
Saubhagya scheme, or Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, is one of the first kind of schemes in India aimed at providing free electricity connection to poor citizens across the country. While announcing the launch of the scheme in New Delhi, Modi said that “all households of the country will get the free electricity connection. No poor person will have to pay a single rupee for electricity connection.”
A similar scheme to provide free gas cylinders to poor households had paid rich dividends to Modi and the BJP in assembly elections early this year. Before 2019, BJP faces a string of state assembly elections that would test PM Modi’s popularity as well the acceptance of the several “pro-poor” schemes launched by the Centre in last three years.
Even as the opposition continues to attack Modi government for allegedly being anti-poor, Modi today said, “The over Rs 16,000-crore Saubhagya Scheme shows the commitment of his government towards the welfare of the poor citizens.”
“Form Jan Dhan Yojana to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to Ujjawala to Mudra to Start-UP India to Standup India to Ujala, you will only see the welfare of poor in them. Who had thought that a government will come which will give free bank accounts to 30 crore poor people? Who had thought that a government will come which will provide insurance to the poor at Rs 1 per month and Rs 90 paise premium and give loans without bank guarantee to the poor,” Modi said.
“Who had thought that a government will come which will give women freedom from smoke in the kitchen, which will reduce the price of stent, and think that even those wearing ‘Hawai chappal’ can board aeroplanes. Dream of poor is the dream of my government,” he added.
The PM said that under Saubhagya, all households, be it in villages or cities, will get the free electricity connection. Poor people will not be asked any fee for the electricity connections. The government has vowed to give this ‘Saubhagya’ to the poor. And will complete this vow.”
“Rs 16,000 crore will be spent to bring a monumental change in the lives of the poor,” he added.
Talking about New India, Modi announced that in “New India not just the villages will get electricity but all households will get the electricity connection.”