This Article is From Sep 05, 2018

"Will Give Rs 500 To Buy Mobile Phone": Vasundhara Raje's Election Pitch

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said the mobile and internet schemes will help people access government services, all of which have gone online

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje at a rally in Jaipur


Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is taking a break from her yatra for two days. She has been holding rallies in Jaipur instead of hitting the road in her rath. On Tuesday, she organised a rally for people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, who have benefitted from her government's schemes.

Ms Raje has lined up another rally today, where 68,000 teachers are expected to attend on Teachers' Day. The teachers are the ones appointed during her government's tenure.

The chief minister is looking to create a support base of people who have benefitted from her government's schemes and convert them into votes.

Under the Bhamshah Digital Pariwar Yojana, Ms Raje announced that over the next one month, the government plans to give money to people -- NFSA beneficiaries and those who have Bhamshah cards -- to buy smartphones. This will be followed by another Rs 500 to recharge them.

She said it will help people access government services, all of which have gone online now.

"We will give you Rs 500 as a first instalment and then if you buy a phone another Rs 500 to connect with the Internet will be given. If you don't buy a phone you won't get the second instalment," Ms Raje said in Jaipur.

"By going online we will be able to see whether all our beneficiaries have bought phones... They will be able to see and access government schemes at the click of a button," the chief minister said.

Rajasthan is among the first states in India that has gone completely online for transfer of social security benefits to the poor by linking them with their Aadhaar numbers. The Bhamshah card for widow pension, MGNREGS, rations and scholarships are among 163 welfare schemes that have been linked to a single-window delivery system.

Ms Raje's freebies don't stop at money for smartphones - she has also promised to give scooters to people with special needs.

She said the loan debt of over 20,000 people from economically weak families up to Rs 2 lakh has been waived off.

Some 22,000 sanitation workers who recently joined 184 municipal agencies in the state attended the rally. "The idea is to create a level playing field for those who are socially weak. This rally was all about the SC, ST, OBC and differently abled who have benefitted under Vasundhara-ji's tenure," social justice minister Arun Chaturvedi said.

The Congress hit back, asking whether it is fair to "exploit them" as a vote bank.

"If someone is getting benefits from a government scheme, the government is not doing a favour. It's the government's job to provide schemes. Whatever promises they are making today, from giving money for phones to internet, they are doing it to hide their failures," Congress leader Sachin Pilot said.