The Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to change the name of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to the Indira Gandhi Gas Subsidy Scheme at a time when Mehangai Rahat camps are underway across the state. This was originally announced last December when the Bharat Jodo Yatra was passing through Alwar.
Under the scheme, families covered under the Ujjwala scheme will be given 12 LPG cylinders a year for Rs 500 each. However, the BJP alleged the state government announced the name change to garner political mileage and show loyalty towards the Gandhi family.
BJP MLA and spokesperson Ramlal Sharma said that even today the Congress cannot get out of the Gandhi family. All the decisions are made to please the family. That is why the Ujjwala scheme is being named after Indira Gandhi. The party can't get out of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, he said, adding that the Congress worships dynasticism.
Deputy leader of the opposition in the state, Satish Poonia, said the Congress is looking to gain political mileage. “In my knowledge, on the lines of the Ayushman Bharat, names of more schemes are being changed. Ayushmna Bharat was renamed as the Chiranjeevi Scheme. Ujjwala Yojana is being renamed for cheap marketing. It’s an unfruitful attempt to gain votes,” he said.
When food and civil supplies minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas was asked about the renaming, he said: “Who is changing the name? The Indira Gandhi Cylinder Subsidy Scheme is for the benefit of the poor. You are not giving subsidies in Ujjwala Yojana. When the Congress government was in power, the cooking cylinder was available for Rs 400. Today it’s Rs 1,150. We are giving that at Rs 500. The Centre is not giving cylinders for Rs 500. If they did, we would have thanked them with folded hands. We will give a cylinder for Rs 500. If the public is benefiting, let it happen.”
Both the BJP and the Congress have a history of changing names of government schemes. The Gehlot government changed the names of multiple schemes brought by the previous BJP government. The Annapurna Yojana, started by the previous government, was changed to Indira Rasoi Yojana and Ayushman Bharat to Chiranjeevi.
The previous Vasundhara Raje government renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras as Atal Seva Kendras. Now, when the Congress came to power, the names of these centers were changed to Rajiv Gandhi Atal Seva Kendra. In the Vasundhara government, the name of Rajiv Shiksha Sankul was changed to Dr Radhakrishnan Shiksha Sankul.
The Gehlot government removed the pictures of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay from all government documents. Deendayal Upadhyay Senior Citizen Pilgrimage Scheme was renamed as the Chief Minister Senior Citizen Pilgrimage Scheme. The name of Guru Golwalkar Grameen Janbhagidari Yojana has been changed to Mahatma Gandhi Grameen Janbhagidari Yojana. The Chief Minister Jal Swavalamban Yojana is now the Rajiv Gandhi Jal Swavalamban Yojana. Bhamashah is now the Rajasthan Jan Aadhaar Yojana.
The important question is whether the renaming will help the present government in the assembly elections due by the end of this year in the state.