Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Thursday asked the masses to question Opposition party leaders on their failure to provide pensions to all and ensure beneficiaries’ complaints are addressed at their doorsteps.
Addressing a rally at Potka near Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum district on Thursday as part of the third phase of Aapki Yojana, Aapki Sarkar, Apke Dwar (linking beneficiaries with welfare schemes and addressing grievances at their doorsteps), Soren while enumerating his government achievements attempted to compare his government achievements with the BJP chief ministers who had ruled the state before him.
“Election is drawing near and when the Opposition party leaders come to you seeking votes, ask them why could not they provide pension to all. Why couldn’t they solve complaints of beneficiaries at their doorsteps during their rule?” asked Soren.
“Ours is a government which listens, sees and reaches to your doorstep. The central government ignored our demand for rural homeless though the beneficiaries fulfilled the qualification of the PMAY scheme and we are providing better houses of three rooms at our own expense to our homeless masses,” said Soren.
The BJP, under different chief ministers — Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda and Raghubar Das — has ruled the state (carved out of Bihar in 2000) for over 15 years. The state celebrated its 24th foundation day on November 15 this year.
Soren had on several occasions claimed that Jharkhand was the first state to have a universal pension scheme for the disabled, elderly, widowed and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. As of now, in other states, pensions are provided to elderlies, widowed and physically challenged only if they fall below the poverty line (BPL) or belong to the SC/ST category. Social security pensions are also given to those having HIV/AIDS falling under the BPL category.
Jharkhand government has been organising Aapki Yojana, Aapki Sarkar, Apke Dwar since 2021 wherein camps have been organised at almost every panchayat in the state and the complaints’ status is checked personally by the chief minister’s office in Aapki Yojana, Apki Sarkar, Apke Dwar dashboard so that all complaints are addressed properly.
The latest move by Soren is being seen by political observers as a move to outsmart the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls and Assembly polls scheduled in 2024.
“Hemant Soren knows that the BJP is using federal agencies against him and they can take any extreme step, even arrest him. He has been playing the sympathy card for several months but with Thursday’s strategy, he is attempting to outsmart the BJP which has been accusing his government of corruption. Soren said that his government had gone that extra mile in solving people’s problem and ensuring benefits which the BJP had not been able to do so far,” said a senior political columnist in a Ranchi-based Hindi vernacular who did not wish to be quoted.