Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday announced that an LPG cylinder will be offered at Rs 450, the cheapest in any state. This will be almost half of the current price of an unsubsidised LPG cylinder at Rs 900 in most of the country, after a Rs 200 cut was announced by the Centre last month. Some Congress-ruled states like Rajasthan have been giving these cylinders at Rs 500, bearing the rest of the cost.
The Congress in Madhya Pradesh has also promised to give an LPG cylinder at Rs 500 if voted to power in the elections expected around November. However, the Shivraj government has now tried to trump the opposition party on this front by announcing the slashing of the LPG cylinder price to Rs 450. This comes after the Bharatiya Janata Party from September enhanced the monthly payout to 1.3 crore women in the state to Rs 1,250 under the CM Ladli Behna Yojana.
Scindia factor in Gwalior-Chambal
In the 2018 assembly elections, the BJP suffered a big loss in eight districts of the Gwalior-Chambal region. Of the 34 seats here, the party was able to win only seven. But this time, the BJP feels the situation has changed due to new political equations. In 2018, Jyotiraditya Scindia was in the Congress and his supporters were seeing him as the chief ministerial face. Digvijaya Singh was also a potential CM candidate of the Congress in this area. The Congress benefitted from such circumstances and managed to win 27 seats here.
But Jyotiraditya Scindia is now with the BJP. In the by-elections held after the resignation of 25 Congress MLAs as Scindia switched over from the Congress, the BJP wrested nine seats of the Gwalior-Chambal division from the rival party and now has control over 16 constituencies in this region. “The Congress did not give the post of chief minister to Digvijaya Singh in 2018, so his supporters no longer seem to be as enthusiastic as they were in 2018. This is also a challenge for the Congress in this area,” said a senior BJP leader to News18. The BJP also feels that Kamal Nath’s acceptance in this area is very weak.
‘Kisan & Jawan’
The Gwalior-Chambal region is also dominated by farmers and soldier families, which the BJP is hoping will be a factor in its favour. The Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme of the Narendra Modi government was not started in the 2018 elections.
“But since 2019 till now, farmers have been getting Rs 12,000 annually as Kisan Samman in their accounts by the Modi government and Shivraj government. At the same time, the BJP can also get the benefit of the One Rank-One Pension for soldiers. Many beneficiary-centric schemes have been started after 2018, and the BJP hopes these to work to its advantage,” a leader said.