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Published On:02 June 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi gives sleepless nights to Congress Party with his Garib Kalyan Mela

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani   

Ahmedabad: Chief Minister Narendra Modi is all set to use Garib Kalyan Mela (GKM) as a potent tool to gobble up Congress vote bank and further strengthen BJP’s grip on Gujarat.

According to senior bureaucrats, Modi is all set to embark upon his ambitious melas. And in a very Indirasque fashion of “Garibi Hatao”, Modi hopes to woo the poor in Gujarat with these loan-cu-aid meetings and win 150 of the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat in 2012 polls.

Of course, Modi will be generously using Central government grants for the purpose but political observers say that, as usual, it would be hyped up as his initiative to reach out to the poor masses.

More than 150 IAS, GAS and class I officials of state government, boards and corporations shall directly participate in this mass outreach programme. Modi aims to reach out to at least one crore people through GKMs and disburse more than Rs 5,500 crore among over 41 lakh people. He has planned 300 melas in two different phases across the state.

This is the second time that the festivals are being organised. These festivals in 2010 proved a big hit and fetched rich benefits for the BJP in the local body elections. Then, the chief minister had touched 39.59 lakh families. Just after the monsoon, Modi will hit the campaign trail. He will distribute agricultural kits, tools and insurance to the poor.

The state government had given financial assistance of Rs 4,859 crore to 35.59 lakh individual beneficiaries, both urban and rural, during the melas in 2010.

This time, the first phase will be in urban areas whereas the second will be in rural areas. However, the number of beneficiaries is likely to increase as the state government has listed the names of below-the-poverty-line (BPL) families online. The first phase has been planned between June 20 and July 20. As many as 60 cities and towns will be covered during the period.

The responsibility of coordinating the GKMs in the urban and rural areas and plan the programmes where Modi will hold meetings has been given to RM Patel, additional chief secretary, panchayats.

Biggest ‘Beneficiary’ Modi Himself

Modi has been the biggest beneficiary of the GKM. People are impressed with the personal contact he establishes with the audience during the public meetings. This is what Modi plans to use to his advantage.

Modi knew that the Congress had won many seats in east Ahmedabad during the previous Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections. He, therefore, held more melas in the eastern parts of the city before the 2010 elections. This won him several more seats. He now wants to replicate this experiment in the entire state.

On May 16, Chief Secretary A K Joti gave specific responsibilities and targets to departmental secretaries and three secretaries in the chief minister’s office, top sources at the CMO said.

Talking to Mirror, Joti said, “A BPL list has been prepared and put online in a bid to bring about transparency of different government schemes so that the benefits of the scheme can reach the poorest of poor.”

Medical Cover for BPL Families in Urban Areas

The state government has decided to cover all urban poor and give them benefits.  B K Sinha, additional chief secretary, urban development, has finalised and approved the list of BPL families in the urban areas. The government has decided to give medical insurance cover to all BPL families in the urban areas.

The BPL families are being given benefits under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, the scheme of the Union Ministry of Labour. The state government also plans to give micro finance to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to 24 lakh women members of Sakhi Mandals.

Modi’s Target

» No. of families touched during local self-government bodies elections in 2010: 39.59 lakh
»  Financial assistance extended: Rs 4,859 crore
»  No. of families targeted this time: 41 lakh
»  Financial assistance targeted: Rs 5,550 crore

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on June 02, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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