A day after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced a pension of ₹1,500 to all the 9,000 women (above 18 years of age) of Spiti, one of the ‘tribal areas’ of the State as a part of the Congress’s pre-poll guarantee, the Congress party in neighbouring Punjab has got political ammunition to target the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the run-up to the Jalandhar parliamentary by-election.
On the occasion of the 76th Himachal Day event held on April 15 at Kaza in the Spiti sub-division of Lahaul-Spiti district, Mr. Sukhu said that the pension would be given, starting from June 2023 in the second phase.
Separately, Mr. Sukhu told The Hindu, “We will fulfil this guarantee in a phased manner. In the first phase, we announced to pay a monthly pension of ₹1,500 per month to 2.31 lakh women, including widows, single women, etc. Our government will spend an amount of ₹416 crore per year for this,” he said.
Upbeat after the announcement, the Congress members have decided to reach out to voters in Punjab by starting a door-to-door campaign, to convey the message surrounding the Congress government’s steps being taken on its key election promise.
“We will expose the AAP government”Amarinder Singh Raja WarringPunjab Congress president
Ahead of the Jalandhar bypoll, which is slated for May 10, the Opposition parties are already cornering the AAP government over several unfulfilled poll promises, including the pension.
“People, especially women in Punjab, voted for the AAP on the promise of being given ₹1,000 monthly to women above 18 years of age, but they have failed to keep up their promise. On the other hand, the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh has taken a lead in fulfilling its promise of giving ₹1,500 to women. If the Congress government in Himachal can start providing financial assistance to women, then why is the AAP government not fulfilling its promise in Punjab, which has a far bigger Budget than Himachal Pradesh? The AAP is befooling the people of Punjab, and has failed to deliver on all fronts,” Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring on Sunday told The Hindu.
“In the coming days, we will start a door-to-door campaign and ahead of the Jalandhar bypoll, we will reach out to the voters and appraise them on how the Congress is fulfilling its promise in Himachal, whereas the AAP is not. We will expose the AAP government,” he said.
The by-election is all set for a multi-cornered fight between the Congress, the AAP, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bahujan Samaj Party combine, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The last day for filing nomination papers is April 20. The counting of votes will take place on May 13.