Cong up in arms over govt prioritising BJP constituencies for Laadli Laxmi

The Congress party has criticised the announcement of the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar that the Laadli Laxmi Scheme would be implemented first in the constituencies that returned Bharatiya Janata Party candidates to the state assembly in the last general elections, saying that the decision lacked maturity.

Some of the Congress leaders claimed that the Chief Minister was making an attempt to polarise the people of the state and attract them towards the membership of the ruling party so as to ensure BJP’s victory in 2014 general elections to the Lok Sabha.

The Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Mr Pratapsing Rane said that such a decision in a democracy goes against the democratic principles and that since the money for the scheme will come from public exchequer it did not augur well for the state and its people.

Mr Rane said that Goa was not under the rule of one party wherein money could be given only to its supporters. "Under a democratic set-up, people of all castes, creeds, etc have to get benefits of the government schemes irrespective of which party they support," said Mr Rane.

Mr Savio D’Souza, the general secretary of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, said that he found it surprising that the Chief Minister was resorting to such a decision wherein people who voted for the BJP in constituencies where it lost could be deprived of the benefits of the scheme.

He further said that constitutionally it is not correct to deny the benefits of a government-run scheme to people in some constituencies where the opposition or others got elected, since the money for the scheme was being utilised from the state exchequer.

Mr D’Souza said that the scheme has many flows and of the major one among it was that it was in a way promoting dowry, which has been banned in the country, and as such it should be stopped forthwith. He said that many instances of fights over the scheme amount have been reported and a few cases of deaths also have been registered.

Describing as wrong the government decision, another GPCC general secretary, Mr Pravin Kunkolienkar said that the Chief Minister of the state should bear in mind that he was leader of the state and not only of the BJP and as such should act like one and ensure that all the people get benefits of the scheme.

"It is time that the Chief Minister showed some maturity and ensured that all the people, especially the needy got the benefits of the scheme and not only those who voted for the BJP in the last election," he said adding that the BJP might have got the mandate of the people but it should not utilise the funds from state exchequer only for its supporters.

Describing as unjust the government decision, a senior official of the Congress party in the state alleged that the Chief Minister was using the scheme as a bait to attract people to his party so as to ensure that the party could win from both the seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, due in less than two years. [NT]