BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday launched the “Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana” giving cooking gas connections to poor tribal families in Dahod district of Gujarat.

Mr. Shah said that five crore connections would be provided to rural areas across the country.

“After coming to power, Prime Minister Modi had launched a campaign asking the well-to-do people to give up LPG subsidy. So far, one crore people have obliged. This has helped this scheme to provide connections to people in rural areas,” Mr. Shah said.

Mr. Shah termed the new initiative a right tool for women empowerment as with gas connections, women will no longer be dependent on firewood and kerosene for cooking.

He slammed the UPA government for corruption in provision of gas connections which remained limited to urban middle class families.

“As soon as Mr. Modi took over, he took steps to remove corruption and curb black marketing by direct transfer of Rs. 13,000 crore into the bank accounts of poor people. It’s a huge step in curbing corruption and pilferage in the social welfare schemes in the country.”

The new beneficiaries enrolled for the scheme from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were given the gas connection documents by Mr. Shah, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the Chief Ministers.

“This financial year alone, one crore new connections will be provided for which Rs. 2,000 crore has been earmarked. In Gujarat, we will provide 25 lakh new connections, most of which will be targeted at rural beneficiaries,” Mr. Pradhan said.

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