In a race to woo voters with freebies ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday promised Rs 2,000 per month for women homemakers if his party returns to power.
Sidhu also promised eight free cooking gas cylinders to homemakers every year. Sidhu’s promise to allowances to women goes beyond Aam Aadmi Party national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's pre-poll assurance of Rs 1,000 to all women in Punjab. Sidhu made these announcements in a rally organised in Punjab's Barnala district.
Addressing the rally, Sidhu made the promises while stressing the need for empowering women in the state. “Women homemakers will be given Rs 2,000 per month and eight (LPG) cylinders free by the Punjab government,” he said. Announcing his second promise, Sidhu said girls, be it from villages or urban areas, after passing fifth class will be given Rs 5,000. “As an incentive, girls who pass class 10th standard will be given Rs 15,000 and girls after passing 12th standard and wish to go to colleges for higher studies will be given Rs 20,000,” he said.
He further promised computers for girls for pursuing higher studies. He promised that the girls will also be given two-wheelers to enable them to go to college. Transfer of properties in the name of women will be done free of charge, he further said. He also promised to set up 28 skill development centres for women across the state.
In a statement issued later by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Sidhu said it was important to recognise the hard work of women. He also promised to generate home-based, kitchen-based business opportunities for women and provide interest free loans up to Rs 2,00,000 to them to run the business.
Sidhu further said there will be a special provision for education loans up to Rs 2 lakh for women up to the stage of their PhD which they can avail from the government. He further said a women commando battalion will be set up in Punjab.
“Women are the backbone and future of this country. They are as much a warrior themselves. The Punjab model has envisioned creating a women commando battalion to empower them and also protect the other womenfolk,” he said. A selected group of women in every district will be trained and be provisioned in the Punjab Police and will be empowered to take charge of her life and represent other womenfolk,” he added in the statement.
With inputs from PTI.