Ahead of elections, Modi to launch kisan pension scheme

AFP file photo

Three months after the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit election-mode, hard-selling development projects in Maharashtra and Haryana and rolling out plans to launch the farmers' pension scheme from Jharkhand.

Modi is all set to launch the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana from Ranchi on Thursday, with a subscriber base of 10 lakh farmers.

“We have already enrolled 9.35 lakh farmers for the initiative. We hope to achieve the target of 10 lakh by Wednesday,” a senior official said.

Under the scheme, announced in the Union Budget presented in July, the government proposes to give a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to small and marginal farmers in the age group of 18-40 years after attaining the age of 60.

Registration for the initiative was launched by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on August 9, with farmers having to make a contribution between Rs 55 and Rs 200 depending on the age, with the government pitching in an equal amount.

In Maharashtra, Modi launched the metro rail projects worth Rs 19,000 crore in Mumbai and inaugurated the administrative building of the Aurangabad Industrial City, the country's first industrial smart city.

In Haryana, Modi focussed on the success of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' initiative which has helped increase the sex-ratio in the state, inaugurated girls' colleges at different locations and delivered 576 affordable housing units in Rohtak.

Assembly elections are likely to be held in Maharashtra and Haryana in October while Jharkhand goes to polls in December. All the three states have BJP-led governments, which it hopes to retain against the backdrop of a splintered opposition.

In Maharashtra, opposition Congress and NCP have witnessed desertions by top leaders to the ruling parties – BJP and Shiv Sena, while in Haryana the Congress has been engulfed by infighting.

In Jharkhand, the Congress-JMM alliance is on the rocks and the grand old party is tackling factionalism.

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