Uddhav slams Shinde govt, says schemes targeting women voters will wind up in 2-3 months

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Jul 7 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday accused the Eknath Shinde government of luring women voters with the Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladki Bahin Yojana ahead of Maharashtra assembly polls and asserted the initiative will stop in two to three months.

Addressing party workers here, he also renewed his demand to waive farm loans in line with the government's announcement of a scheme to write off electricity bills of farmers.

Thackeray accused the BJP of driving a wedge between castes in Maharashtra.

The former chief minister demanded that the Centre increase the cap of 50 per cent reservation by passing a law in Parliament to facilitate quota for Marathas and other communities without hurting the interests of Other Backward Classes.

"Many schemes are being launched. This is a ploy to lure women voters before the polls. The schemes are only for two-three months. Their (the ruling alliance) government will not return and even if it returns, the schemes will be wrapped up after that," he added.

In the budget tabled in the assembly last week, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced sops ahead of state polls, which are likely to be held in October-November.

Pawar announced Mukhyamantri Annapoorna Yojana (aimed at giving three free cylinders to women), Mukhyamantri Yuva Karyaprashikshan Yojana, Mukhyamantri Krishi Pump Yojana as well as Mukhyamantri Majhi Ladki Bahin Yojana (in which eligible women in the 21-60 age group will get a monthly allowance of Rs 1,500) and a scheme to provide free education to women.

"Schemes are being announced but there is a drought when it comes to their implementation. The government is trying to hide its sins with these schemes," Thackeray alleged.

Speaking about the recent Lok Sabha polls, Thackeray said the defeat of his party candidates in Aurangabad, Raigad and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg him hard.

He urged his workers to ask voters the reason behind party candidate Chandrakant Khaire's loss from Aurangabad.

Thackeray said Shiv Sena leader Sandipan Bhumre's win in Aurangabad was achieved by stealing his party's name and symbol.

The former CM acknowledged the 'burning torch' symbol of the Shiv Sena (UBT), which it got post the split, could not effectively reach people in the Lok Sabha polls.

He said assembly polls will be fought to protect Maharashtra's self-respect. PTI PR BNM