The BJP government in Goa is under attack from the opposition and has also invited the public's wrath for not fulfilling its poll promise of '3 free LPG cylinders'. However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has now said that the scheme will be only for the 'low income group'.
Sawant admitted that the scheme has been delayed. He said that his government will take the decision to provide cooking gas free to families with low income.
"Three cylinders will be provided to those having 'Antyodaya' ration cards. The file is in movement, only a decision has not been taken. I feel that those having low income should get this benefit. However, it is delayed to get financial approval," Sawant said.
"But the scheme is not for everyone. We will try to take a decision on this issue," he said.
Raking up the issue of free LPG cylinders promised by the BJP government and the price hike of domestic cooking gas, the Congress in Goa while distributing the letters of its leader Rahul Gandhi during the 'Haath Se Haath Jodo' program, stated that the party will provide a LPG cylinder for only Rs 500 once it comes back to power in the 2024 polls.
Former All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar speaking to IANS said that it is in the 'DNA' of the BJP to make false promises before elections and then cheat the people.
"While promising free LPG, the BJP never said that it is only for low income groups. They have garnered votes by hoodwinking voters on this promise. Now the BJP has taken a 'U-Turn' as usual and has said that the scheme is only for low income groups," Chodankar said.
"Even if it is for low income groups, why is the Chief Minister not announcing the exact date to implement the scheme. This means they want to delay it till the next election. Now the people have come to know about the BJP's gimmicks," Chodankar added.
The Goa Forward Party (GFP) has alleged that the BJP government garnered votes by promising to give three free cooking gas cylinders, however, now the people are feeling cheated.
GFP MLA Vijai Sardesai had said that due to the steep rise in the price of cooking gas and the BJP government's failure to provide free LPG cylinders, people in the rural areas of the state are forced to rely on firewood for cooking.
"People are burdened due to the steep hike in the price of cooking gas. Many people in rural areas are forced to rely on firewood to meet their cooking requirements," Sardesai said.
"Mothers and sisters of Goa voted for you (BJP) so that you could form the government. During the budget (in 2022), the Chief Minister (Pramod Sawant) had said that under the 'Goa Gramin Urja Yojana', the state government has decided to give three cylinders for free per year for which a provision of Rs 40 crore has been made. But now this scheme has been dropped," Sardesai said.
"Today the situation is such that people are storing firewood at their homes," he added.
"The fanfare with which this scheme was announced remains only on party leaflets now. The Chief Minister has cheated our mothers and sisters with his false promise," Sardesai said.
GFP vice-president Ashma said that Pramod Sawant should clarify whether the government will give three cylinders free, which were promised.
"During the assembly election, BJP promised to give three cylinders free to garner votes and in return cheated the women of the state. Now the Chief Minister should clarify whether this scheme will be implemented or not," she said.
"The Lok Sabha elections are just a year away. The time has come for the people to realise the pro-capitalist and anti-poor agenda of the BJP government. It is not possible to defeat the BJP unless the people express their anger against the anti-people policies of the BJP government," Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao said.
The Congress in Goa had agitated against the price hike of LPG and the failure of the government to provide free cooking gas.
The Aam Aadmi Party in Goa has also agitated against the BJP government.
"Now after coming to power, the BJP has taken a U-turn over providing free LPG cylinders promised during the election. The Chief Minister now says they will be given only to below poverty line families. Now the people of Goa should understand what hypocrites these leaders are," Surel Tilve, AAP vice president, said.
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