Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday expressed dismay at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee giving a miss to the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) here.
“I am dismayed at the absence of Mamata Banerjee at the launch of PMUY, a programme which is meant for the poor,” Pradhan said.
“I had personally sent an invitation to the Chief Minister through my officials. Ministers Jyotipriyo Mullick and Sovandeb Chatterjee were also invited. But none have come,” he said.
The Union minister said he was like Banerjee’s “younger brother. We are, may be, from different political parties. But politics should not come in the way of development.”
“We went ahead with the programme on our own,” he said.
Pradhan launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) on Sunday, which aims to provide free LPG connections to 1.06 crore BPL households in the state over five years, on August 14.
“PMUY will launch on August 14, and will be spread over all 20 districts in Bengal. A target of covering 1.06 crore BPL households in five years has been set,” said R K Mahapatra, general manager of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Thursday.
“Bengal will be an important state for PMUY implementation as LPG penetration here is a lot lower than the national average of 52 per cent. The selection of BPL households will be done based on the 2011 socio-economic caste census,” Mahapatra said. Beneficiaries would need a bank account and Aadhar number so that the subsidy can reach their accounts.