Karnataka: Ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka, in the massive convention for women, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced a second poll promise of Rs. 2,000 a month to every woman in the family under the ‘Gruha Lakshmi scheme’ if it forms a government. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, while making the announcement at a convention in Bengaluru on Monday, said Rs 24,000 a year would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of women’s heads under ‘Gruha Lakshmi Yojana’, an ‘unconditional universal basic income’. The promise comes within days of the Congress making an announcement to provide 200 units of free power every month to each household in the state, where assembly elections are due by May.
Priyanka was speaking at the ‘Na Nayaki’ (I am a woman leader) convention at the Palace Grounds in Bengaluru on Monday, 16 January. Around 1.5 crore women would benefit from this scheme, claimed the party. Which means the government will have to spend Rs 36,000 crore per year to fulfill the promise. The party said the ‘Gruha Lakshmi scheme’ is an attempt to share the ‘exorbitant burden’ of LPG prices and daily expenses borne by a woman. Congress took this decision because most of the women, from whom they sought suggestions, wanted the party to reduce their financial burden.
Addressing a gathering, Priyanka said, “If the Congress is voted to power, it will implement the Gruha Lakshmi scheme — an unconditional universal basic income. Under this scheme, 24,000 will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries every year. This scheme is an attempt to share the burden of the exorbitant LPG prices and the costly daily expenses that a woman has to bear on a daily basis.”
It may be noted that the Congress made similar poll promises in the run-up to the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, which were held in February. However, the party failed to attract women’s votes. It managed to win only 18 out of the 117 Assembly seats in the state. Addressing the convention, Priyanka also lashed out at the Basavaraj Bommai government over reported issues like rampant corruption, scandals, and irregularities.