On the eve of Rahul Gandhi’s visit, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath announced several pro-people decisions. The decisions include stipend of ₹4,000 per month for unemployed urban youth, 100 days employment in a year for urban youth, 10 HP electricity at half rate for farmers, 62 lakh domestic consumers to get up to 100 units of power at ₹100 per month, Rs. 600 per month social security pension for BPL elders and widows. Till now they were getting ₹300 per month.
Giving details about the decisions which cabinet approved Minister for urban administration Jaivardhan Singh said that Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to provide 100 days’ guaranteed employment for jobless urban youth. “An unemployed urban youth, between 21 and 30 years of age, with a family income of less than 2 lakh a year, will get 100 days of training and employment under this new scheme.
“There is no minimum qualification required to register but training will be given according to educational qualification. A graduate will be trained in computers while a Class 5 pass maybe taught electrical work or welding”. Singh said, adding that registrations will start on February 10 at 160 urban local bodies. Applicants need to give Aadhaar as residential proof, he said. “The government says 6.5 lakh youth will benefit from the scheme and the best performers under the skill training programme will get placement opportunities. Those registered under the programme will get ₹13,000 stipend annually and the state will spend ₹800 crore a year on the scheme – 90% of which will be borne by the urban administration department and 10% by urban local bodies.
Saral Bijli Yojana of former Shivraj Singh Chouhan government will now be covered under Indira Griha Jyoti Youjana of the Kamal Nath administration. Minister for energy Priyavrat Singh said. 62 lakh domestic consumers will benefit from the scheme, 6 lakh of whom were already getting benefit of Saral Yojana at flat rate of ₹200. The state government will bear a subsidy of ₹2,226 crore annually for this.
Indira Kisan Jyoti Yojana will benefit 27 lakh agricultural consumes and an additional 2 lakh farmers with temporary pump connections “Up to 10 HP bill has been halved from ₹ 1,400 per HP to ₹ 700” said Priyavrat Singh adding that the burden on the state exchequer will be ₹ 667 crore. There will be 8 lakh beneficiaries from SC/ST categories, he added.
Besides these populist measure having financial implications. Kamal Nath severed stern warning to cow vigilantes. “We will not spare anybody involved in mob lynching or instigating violence in the name of cow protection. The government has issued instructions to Police to act sternly against those involved in violent activities and hooliganism in the name of saving holy cattle”. CM Nath said after a high level meeting on Gaushala bill in Mantralaya.
The CMs statement came in the wake of a series of incidents in Rajgarh, Guna and Ujjain where cow vigilantes have waylaid trucks transporting cattle. In Guna on Wednesday Gau Rakshaks ransacked a truck transporting cattle alleging cruel treatment to the animals and beat up the driver and assistant staff.
It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister’s announcement of tough action against Cow vigilantes came in the wake of invoking National Security Act (NSA) against some offenders who were caught transporting cattle without valid permission.
Just two days after Khadwa administration invoked NSA for cow slaughter, Agar Malwa district administration on Thursday charged two suspects under the stringent law for illegally transporting cattle. Collector Ajay Gupta invoked NSA against Mehboob Khan of Lamba Khedi village and Rodmal alias Rodu Malivy of Agar Malwa. SP Manoj Singh had recommended the action after the accused were found transporting cows illegally on Thursday. The accused are repeat offenders say police. They were caught with cattle on January 29, 2018 in Agar Malwa. Khan faces four cases of illegal trafficking of cows and Malviya three.
This extreme act was criticised by none less than former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. Digvijay Singh said that “he feels invoking NSA for Cow slaughter was unnecessary. The district administrations invoke NSA to control law and order. In any such incident Police decides which section or law they will invoke. But in this case I personally believe that there is no sense in invoking NSA.”
Besides Digvijay Singh Congress MLA from Bhopal Arif Masood also criticised the use of NSA. He claimed that none of the accused was involved in Cow slaughter. The Congress minority cell also lodged its protest in New Delhi in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, it is learnt.
However state Home Minister Balla Bacchan justified the action. Surprisingly BJP legislator Rameshwar Sharma hailed the invocation of the NSA for the protection of Cow.