BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has made a host of women-centric announcements over the last two days. Out of the total 5.41 crore electorate in the poll-bound state, over 48% or 2.61 crore voters are women.
Chouhan, the BJP’s longest-serving CM in the country, started with the transfer of the first monthly instalment of Rs 1,000 into the accounts of 1.25 crore married women under the Mukyamantri Laadli Behana Yojana, which is being seen as a game-changer for the ruling BJP, faced with anti-incumbency following 18 years in power in the state.
The CM started on June 10. The CM transferred the first instalment with a single click at a state-level event in Jabalpur. “It’s just the beginning, I’ll keep on arranging funds for increasing the monthly instalment gradually and take it to Rs 3,000 monthly in the future,” the CM announced to the loud cheers of a large gathering of women.
The CM’s move is being seen as a counter to Congress’ much-publicized promise of starting a Rs 1,500 monthly support Naari Samman Yojana, if voted to power. The CM then came out with another promise: Laadli Behana Senas. Each small village will have an 11-member sena while each bigger village will have a 21-member sena. “These senas will work with the government in the proper implementation of women-oriented schemes and fighting injustice against women in villages,” said the CM.
But the Jabalpur event on June 10 was just the beginning, as the CM followed it up with another series of announcements at the large gathering of Anganwadi workers at the BHEL Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal the next day.
At the Sunday event in Bhopal, the CM announced increasing the honorarium of Anganwadi workers from Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000. The honorarium will go up by `1,000 annually as an incentive. Also, the Anganwadi workers will get Rs 1000 per month separately under Mukhya Mantri Ladli Bahna Yojana. The honorarium of mini Anganwadi workers has been fixed at Rs 6,500 monthly. On retirement, Rs 1.25 lakh will be provided to the Anganwadi workers and Rs one Lakh to the sahayikas.
Health and accident insurance of Rs 5 lakh will be provided to Anganwadi workers and sahayikas. 50% of posts of Anganwadi workers will be reserved for the promotion of sahayikas to the post of Anganwadi workers. The Anganwadi workers will also be given facilities at par with government employees, the CM promised.