The two schemes of Ladli Behena and Mahtari Vandan seem to have worked wonders for the BJP in the elections of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Even as BJP has emerged as the clear lead in Madhya Pradesh and in giving a tough fight to the Congress in Chhattisgarh, the impact of these two schemes has clearly created an impact on the voters. But what is interesting here is that they appear to have an Assam connection.
If we go by the comparisons, then the Ladli Behna and Mahtari Vandan schemes are exact copies of the Assam government's Arunodoi scheme, which has been hugely popular in the northeastern state.
In fact, before the launch of Ladli Behna scheme, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma went to Madhya Pradesh thrice and met his counterpart Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Apart from this, officials of the Assam government gave presentations to the Madhya Pradesh government officials twice, and two separate video conferences were also held between officials of the two governments before Madhya Pradesh state budget was finalised.
If we compare the Assam government's Arunodoi scheme with the two schemes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, then we find that they all provide financial assistance to women.
Madhya Pradesh's Ladli Behna Yojana was launched on January 28 this year by MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Through this scheme, an amount of Rs 1250 is being paid to eligible woman in her eligibility period in the Aadhaar linked DBT enabled bank account.
If we come to the BJP's Mahtari Vandan Yojana in Chhattisgarh, which they have brought forth as a poll plank, it promises to pay Rs 1000 to every married woman as per the eligibility criteria.
Now if we come to the Arunodoi scheme of the Assam government, it treats women as the beneficiaries and gives them Rs 1250 curently, while also covering their health expenses and also gives them other benefits. Also, the fact that the Arunodoi scheme was launched in October 2, 2020, shows that it has been a tried and tested scheme which has yielded results for the BJP led government in Assam.
The clear lead of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh in the current counting trends and the neck-to-neck fight by the BJP to the Congress in Chhattisgarh, is an indication that female voters have made a clear shift giving the saffron party a favourable position in these two states.
Also, it has been widely believed that the Arunodoi scheme also led to a major shift in the voting pattern of Assam's female voters which led to the BJP retaining power in a landslide victory in Assam in the 2022 state elections, which ultimately resulted in Himanta Biswa Sarma taking charge as the Chief Minister.
Also worth mentioning is that CM Sarma has been one of the star campaigners for the BJP in the elections for the four states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. His involvement as an active campaigner for the BJP in the four states can be gauged from the fact that he has attended 79 rallies in the run up to the elections. While Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath attended around two dozen rallies in the four states, Sarma's huge tally of rallies show that he has been one of the most sought after campaigners for the BJP in these elections.
The Assam CM's major involvement in the campaigning and the the BJP deriving huge benefits from schemes which have been copied from the Assam government's Arunodoi scheme, is a clear indication that Himanta Biswa Sarma has a bigger role to play within the saffron party in the days to come.
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