Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Monday stressed the need for
education of girls as he launched at Rampur town the "Hamari Beti,
Uska Kal" scheme, which entails aid of Rs.30,000 for marriage or
further education of girls studying up to Class 10.
The move drew criticism from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), which slammed the state government for launching the
"community specific" scheme and accused it of indulging in
minority vote bank politics. Rampur is about 300 km from Lucknow.
Girls whose parents have an annual income of Rs.36,000 are
eligible for the scheme.
Distributing the cheques to beneficiaries from Moradabad division
at the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University campus, Akhilesh Yadav
pointed out that the scheme was the brainchild of Urban
Development Minister Azam Khan, who had also coined its name.
As many as 14,000 girls were benefiting from the scheme, he added
and assured that in future, all deserving girls would benefit from
the scheme across the state.
On the occasion, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Shivpal
Singh Yadav approved proposals for a guest house, beautification
of the lake in the university campus and 26 roads as well as
inaugurated the Rafeeq-Ul-Mulk Mulayam Singh Yadav faculty of
However, as the chief minister was distributing cheques at the
campus, hundreds of girls, a majority of them Muslims, protested
the criterion of selection and tried to meet the chief minister
but were stopped by the large police posse at the function site.
BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak, meanwhile, said he was aghast to see
full page advertisements in all newspapers about the scheme and
questioned the scheme being titled 'Hamari Beti, Uska Kal'.
"What is the message that this government is trying to send? Are
only Muslim girls there and what about the other communities and
castes?" he said, adding that the BJP would take up the matter