Ahead of UP elections, Modi transfers Rs. 1,000cr to SHGs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday transferred Rs. 1,000 crore to bank accounts of various self-help groups in Uttar Pradesh. The move is likely to benefit 16 lakh women in the state. The amount was transferred under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission. The mission seeks to provide grassroots women with the necessary skills, incentives, and resources.
Why does this story matter?
The move comes months ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. It is considered to be an attempt by the ruling BJP to woo women voters through various government schemes. Notably, women voters had played a decisive role in all recently held assembly elections, including in West Bengal and Assam. Thus, political parties consider women as a special voting block.
Over two lakh women participated in the program
The program was held in UP's Prayagraj and saw the participation of over two lakh women. As part of the program, PM Modi launched several initiatives to empower women in the state. In his address, Modi also hailed Prayagraj as a symbol of "Nari Shakti." UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, and other leaders were also present at the program.
Several 'women empowerment' initiatives launched
Modi also laid the foundation stone of 202 supplementary nutrition manufacturing units in 43 districts. These units are being funded by SHGs and will be constructed at a cost of around Rs. 1 crore a unit. He also transferred Rs. 20 lakh crore to over one lakh beneficiaries of the Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Scheme, which provides assistance to the girl child.
'Women won't let previous governments return'
Modi said the Kanya Sumangala Scheme gave girls the power of digital banking even when most of them didn't have accounts until some time ago. "The daughters of UP have decided...they won't let the previous governments come back to power," he added.
'25 lakh houses under PM Awas registered in women's names'
Out of 30 lakh houses built under PM Awas Yojana in UP, nearly 25 lakh houses are registered in women's names, Modi said. "For generations, women didn't have any property here. But today, they own the entire house. This is what true women empowerment is," he continued. He further claimed 70% of the loans under the PM Mudra Yojana had been disbursed to women.
PM highlights decision to increase marriage age for women
Modi also highlighted the Union Cabinet's decision to increase the age of marriage for women from 18 years to 21 years. "We're making efforts to make this happen as women want time to pursue their studies and get equal opportunities,' Modi said.
UP Assembly polls due next year
UP is going to poll early next year. The state sends the most legislators to Parliament and is hence a key capture for the 2024 general elections. In 2017, the BJP had secured a stupendous victory by winning 312 out of 403 assembly seats. This time, UP is likely to witness a four-corner fight among the BJP, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Congress.