BENGALURU: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday gave an evasive reply to questions regarding confusion over the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, saying, “We are the ones running the government, we will decide”.
The Congress, which promised Rs 2,000 for the woman head of family of all households, after forming the government, has now stated that families which are paying income tax or filing GST returns are not eligible for the scheme benefits.
“If a rupee has to be given to anyone, there has to be accountability — who is on the voter list, who is a voter, they should have Aadhaar cards and their own bank accounts. The families themselves have to decide who is the woman head of family, we cannot get into that, but for one household, one woman is eligible. We have data from the voters’ list, APL, BPL and green cards”, Shivakumar said.
Further, he said, “The BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) cannot tolerate that we are implementing all these guarantees. There is no medicine for jealousy. The BJP should first ensure that everybody gets Rs 15 lakh as promised. If they want to protest, they can. In a democracy, they cannot be stopped. The BJP promised to double farmers’ income and create employment, but they could not”.
“We had decided to give the benefits of the schemes to the poor. People who are paying taxes won’t come and ask for the scheme benefits. Many people have already written to us that they do not want the Rs 2,000. We had announced what we will give and the people know about it”, he said. To a question on whether the Gruha Lakshmi scheme will apply to families of government employees, he simply said, “We know about it”.
In his first press conference being sworn in, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said all families will be eligible for the Gruha Lakshmi scheme and the families themselves will have to decide who the woman head of the family is. He had said the scheme will be rolled out from August 15, Independence Day and that applications can be submitted online between June 15 and July 15.
Now, the government is saying that those paying income tax and filing GST returns will not be eligible. There is also no clarity on whether families of state and central government employees, politicians, who is eligible and how to apply among various other issues.