In an attempt to lure female voters away from the Modi government, the Congress party today posted a propaganda video on Twitter belittling the Ujjwala Yojana that seeks to empower poor women who had no access to LPG cylinders up until now.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
गुड्डी देवी और उनके जैसी हजारों महिलाएं आज अपने स्वास्थ्य से समझौता करने के लिए मजबूर हैं, क्योंकि मोदी की प्रचार नीतियां उनके वादों को पूरा करने में विफल रही। उज्ज्वला योजना एक विफलता है और देश की सबसे गरीब महिलाएं इसकी कीमत चुका रही हैं। pic.twitter.com/zfE9qfwWKB
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 9, 2019
In the video made by the BBC, the Congress attempts to denigrate the central government’s Ujjwala scheme by claiming that its first beneficiary Guddi Devi is still occasionally using firewood instead of the subsidised LPG cylinders provided to her. The video says the Ujjwala Yojana ain’t successful as Guddi Devi is eligible for 12 subsidised cylinders in a year but she has managed to get only 11 of them in 3 years as she couldn’t afford to buy the subsidised cylinders.
Ujjwala scheme has been one of the most widely praised social welfare schemes of the Modi government, apart from Ayushman Bharat. The direct impact on rural health is also something that was highlighted. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had stated in February that almost 80% of beneficiaries of Ujjwala have come back for a second refill.
However, many on Twitter were quick to spot the inherent irony of the tweet. The users pointed out how Congress had failed not just in providing subsidised cylinders to the poor but also in raising their incomes for them to afford subsidised cylinders.
Many hailed PM Modi’s Ujjwala Yojana while censuring Congress for not even providing gas connections to the most vulnerable section of the society, despite being in power for almost 60 years since India’s independence, besides using the abject situation of poor in a propaganda video to target the Modi government.
One user mocked Congress’ posted video responding that by posting such videos they are indeed exposing themselves. The user blamed Congress for the abject poverty among the poor that they couldn’t afford subsidised cylinders.
किसका पोल खोल रहे हो बे,आज तक तुम दे तो पाए नही, और तुमने इतना सबको अमीर नही बना दिया है कि हर महीने भरवाए।लेकिन जब कोई नई नवेली दुल्हन घर को आ रही है तो उसको खाने बनाने के लिए गैस,शौचालय,स्वास्थ्य सेवा मिल रहा है,और यही सत्य है।
— विकास भगत ???? (@vikas_bhagat24) May 9, 2019
One of the users highlighted how Congress has failed in providing basic amenities to the poor while PM Modi in the last 5 years has been working towards providing facilities to the poor.
Desh gareeb kyu raha ye hi sabse bada mudda hai… Facilities di gayi h gareeb janta ko wo b pichle 5 saalo me…
— Chowkidar Ankur Patni (@imAnkurPatni) May 9, 2019
Some users even pointed out how the Gas cylinder rates during UPA II were hovering around Rs 1100 and how under Modi government the rate of unsubsidised cylinders have come down to around Rs 750.
जो गरीबों तक सिलेंडर तक पहुंचा सकी वो उज्ज्वला योजना पर सवाल उठा रहे हैं।
वैसे हमे आज भी याद है कि जनवरी 2014 में सिलेंडर के दाम 1100 रु से अधिक थे।
और सब्सीडी वाले सिलेंडर भी सीमित ही मिलते थे।
— ?? SUDIP YADAV ?? (@sudip_lko) May 9, 2019
Another user ridiculed Congress for not even envisaging of providing gas connection to the poor.
तुमने तो गैस कनेक्शन देने का 70 साल मे सोचा भी नही था
— Chowkidar Chetan (@cheatan) May 9, 2019
While it is unfortunate that some Ujjwala Scheme beneficiaries cannot afford additional cylinders and have to go back to firewood and kerosene for their cooking chores, it is ironical on Congress’ part to disparage the Ujjwala Yojana that has provided gas connections to the vulnerable and poor in the society.
It is also a fact that millions of women have benefitted from the Ujjwala scheme. The time saved from collecting firewood and making cow dung fuel has been utilised by several women to supplement their family income. Even the WHO had praised the scheme.
It is Congress party’s legacy and failure that poor in India were bereft of gas connections and not economically empowered to afford subsidised gas. Congress does not seem to realise that in pointing out that some people are too poor to even afford a subsidised gas cylinder, it is highlighting its own failures.