In a historic win, the BJP clinched a total of 303 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and a total of 353 seats for the BJP led NDA. In a country where traditionally caste and religion play a deciding factor in the elections, the BJP certainly turned up a notch this time with its developmental policies working in its favour.
After results of the election were announced, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was quoted saying, “We observed the people’s sentiments and found that development-oriented policies and their implementation would shatter the caste barriers”.
The BJP came into power in 2014 primarily due to its development goals which the Modi led government promptly delivered in the span of 5 years. It is said that every poor or rural household in the country was touched by at least one welfare scheme of the union government, which helped it to come back to power with an increased mandate. Here are some central government schemes that worked in the party’s favour.
1. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
One of the first initiatives of the Modi government was the promotion of cleanliness and access to clean toilets for all. Open defecation used to be a rampant issue in many rural households across the country, which primarily impacted the lives of women.
According to the official government website, since 2nd October 2014 more than 9 crore toilets have been built achieving an overall 99.17% of access to toilets in rural households till date. 618 districts have been declared open defecation free (ODF) status.
It was also reported in March that in an independent survey conducted by an agency under the World Bank, over 93% of rural households in India now have access to toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Last year the World Bank had also lauded the initiative terming it as world’s biggest sanitation movement.
2. Jan Dhan Yojana
It’s one of the biggest financial inclusion initiatives in the world intending to offer financial services to all households across the country. Under this scheme, no-frills basic savings were opened for everyone who didn’t have any bank account. The services include the availability of basic savings bank account, access to need-based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension.
Under this initiative, the official website reports that there have been 35.65 crore beneficiaries so far and a total of 98,414.55 crore rupees balance in the beneficiary accounts.
3. Ujjwala Yojana
This scheme of the Central government was launched to provide free gas cylinders to the poor. This would avoid the need to use firewood, which is a health hazard for people due to the pollution it causes. Currently, the scheme has been implemented in 714 districts, with more than 7.19 crore gas connections.
Last year it was reported that the scheme was 8 months ahead of its schedule. Earlier this month the Congress party posted a propaganda video on Twitter belittling the Ujjwala Yojana, however many users 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.
4. Ayushman Bharat
Ayushman Bharat Yojana is Modi government’s flagship healthcare programme launched in September 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW. The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically. The scheme intends to provide coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10.74 crore poor families or over 50 crore people. Rs 10,000 crore were allocated for the scheme by the Health Ministry, last year.
As reported in January, within just 100 days of the launch of this initiative, over 6,95,310 patients were treated in various empanelled private and public hospitals across India. Around 5.1 lakh claims have been availed of the scheme, for which payment has been released. A few days later, the World Bank lauded this achievement.
5. MUDRA Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8 2015, for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
The scheme is being perceived as an elixir for the MSME sector, accounting for 90% of total number of enterprises and also 90% of non-agriculture employment whose growth had been hindered due to constraints in access to finance. Despite the criticism of the initiative, the MUDRA Yojana has definitely made its impact. Here are some ground level success stories of the scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (or Saubhagya) was launched in 2017 to ensure universal household electrification (in both rural and urban areas) by providing last mile connectivity.
In November 2018, the government had announced that a total of 15 states in India have 100% household electrification. A small number of un-electrified households which are still left in States like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are likely to achieve saturation any time soon. As per the official website presently we have achieved 99.93% electrification.