The senior Congress leader said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is “desperate” as he launched the Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna scheme to give cash to women just before the elections, but women know he is running out of power. Kamal Nath told News18. In an interview at his Bhopal residence on Thursday, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said he had made five promises to voters, including a grant of Rs 1,500 per month to women, as he believed that “women needs more support”.
He hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for terming such gifts as ‘rewadis’ (freebies) and said that “when the BJP does it, they don’t call it like that”. He also mocked the idea of PM Modi being invincible even after forming an opposition alliance like India. “They used to say this about Indira Gandhi and she lost her election. This is the reality,” said Kamal Nath.
In what appears to be a battle for women’s votes in Madhya Pradesh, Nath has promised Rs 1,500 per month for women as well as Rs 500 LPG cylinders and up to 100 units of free electricity if voted to power. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also launched the Laadli Behna Yojana to transfer Rs 1,000 per month to 1.25 crore women of the state and has promised to gradually increase this amount to Rs 3,000 per month. What does Kamal Nath think on this answer of the Chief Minister? Edited excerpts:
Why have you made 5 promises, especially for women?
I am presenting 5 promises which are important for the people of Madhya Pradesh. Gas and electricity are very important for women and this should have been done by the government in the last 18 years but they did not do so. That’s why we have promised them.
The PM says the promises made by you are a symbol of ‘rewdi’ (freedom) culture…
He (Prime Minister) calls it rewadi culture, but when he does it, it is not rewadi culture! That’s the point! I think women need to be given more support. And with rising gas prices and inflation, the cost of living has gone up. And the cost of living is mostly borne by women. So we have to make sure that women get its benefits.
The Chief Minister has started the Laadli Behna scheme with Rs 1,000 per month and is announcing that it will be increased to Rs 3,000…
Well, the Chief Minister is desperate and people in Madhya Pradesh have understood that the time has come for him to go and are waiting to bid him goodbye.
Will women not doubt your promise as they are already getting money from Shivraj government?
I don’t think this is a factor. Women are also realizing that only Shivraj ji will give the money for the next 4 months and after that everything will be in the air.
How will you take revenge for what you called the betrayal of 2020 when your government was thrown out after 15 months in office?
The answer will lie with the people of Madhya Pradesh – I have faith in them and the voters. The question is not about the candidate or the party, the question is about the future of Madhya Pradesh.
You were part of the India Alliance meeting in Bengaluru…
The opposition is in the process of working together and it is a continuous process, which will continue.
But some people say that PM Modi is unstoppable despite opposition parties coming together because his popularity is very high.
They used to say this about Indira Gandhi and she lost her election. This is the reality.