Lucknow, May 3: BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday trashed the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana as "a drop in the ocean" and alleged that giving free gas connections instead of free cylinders showed how the Modi government "pretended" to be pro-poor.
The target to provide 1.5 crore free LPG connections to women members of BPL households across the country this year was "too little" and would hardly help the poor in a vast state like Uttar Pradesh having a population of 22 crore, she said in a statement here.
"It is like a drop in the ocean," Mayawati said, criticising the decision to give free gas connections rather than providing free cylinders to the poor.
"This exposes how the BJP-led government at the Centre pretends to be pro-poor," she said, referring to the launch of the Rs 8,000 crore scheme in Ballia on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide five crore free LPG connections to women members of BPL households in the next three years.
The BSP supremo also slammed Modi for distributing e-rickshaws only in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi and "ignoring" 79 other parliamentary constituencies in the state. "Does it not amount to discrimination," she asked.
In an apparent bid to share credit for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had on Monday said the poor would get the purchasing power for fuel only through his government's Samajwadi Pension fund.
"LPG cylinders have been arranged. But the poor will be able to purchase the fuel only with the help of Rs 500 Samajwadi pension which his government will give to 55 lakh women," Yadav had said.