BHOPAL: With an eye on the coming Jhabua assembly by-elections (whose dates are yet to be announced), Chief Minister Kamal Nath inaugurated the ambitious CM Housing Mission (Urban) in Jhabua district of west Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.
The new scheme which is aimed at providing houses to urban homeless persons envisages making houseless residents of slum dwellings the owners of their houses.
The objective of the mission is to provide lease deeds (Pattas) of residential plots and pucca houses to the urban poor residing in towns of MP.
In the mission for house ownership, houses will be constructed on the basis of hire purchase and public-private partnership. This scheme will be run constantly.
Under the mission, ownership of residential land will be given to the urban poor. Financial help will be given to convert kuchcha and semi kuchcha house into a pucca house and organized development of slums will be done.
The CM also announced and rendered Jhabua specific initiatives, including distribution of gas connections for women heads of SHGs engaged in Mid Day Meal (MDM) preparation in schools.
The religious affairs minister PC Sharma, one of four ministers present at the occasion, announced financial assistance from the government for organizing fairs at the shrines and religious hotspots of the tribal population.
The CM also laid foundation of several other public schemes in the tribal-dominated district and said that his government’s eight-month tenure was far better than the 15 years rule of the BJP in the state.
The by-election to Jhabua assembly seat is crucial for both, the ruling Congress and BJP. Winning the by-election will take the ruling party a seat closer to the majority.
The Congress presently has 114 seats in the 230- members Vidhan Sabha, but the win in Jhabua will make it just one seat away from a simple majority of 115, consequently making it less dependent on the seven ally MLAs (four independents, two BSP MLAs and one SP MLA).
The BJP which has won the Jhabua assembly seat in the last two assembly polls, 2013 and 2018, largely due to the presence of rebel Congress candidates in the previous elections also needs to emerge triumphant for putting more pressure on the government in the State Assembly.
As far as history goes, the Jhabua seat (which is reserved for the scheduled tribe) has long been a Congress citadel with the grand old party winning seven out of the last ten assembly elections which were held since 1977.
On Wednesday, the Congress put up a united front on the CM’s stage with both warring factions of the party in the district, former union minister Kantilal Bhuria and ex-MLA Javier Medha being seated on the same stage.
In 2018 elections, Bhuria’s medico son Vikrant Bhuria had lost to BJP’s GS Damor largely due to presence of ex-MLA and rebel Congress candidate Javier Medha.
Five years before that BJP’s Shantilal Bhilval had won from the same seat, defeating sitting Congress MLA Javier Medha, largely due to presence of rebel Congress candidate Kalavati Bhuria (Kantilal Bhuria’s niece).
Keenly eyeing the success in the by-election, nine ministers of the Kamal Nath government have toured Jhabua since August 31, addressing program of those segments of the tribal population, who are directly or indirectly connected with their departments.
On the other hand, the BJP has divided the entire Jhabua assembly seat into 20 sectors, each of which will be managed by an MLA and ex-minister.