Over 30 lakh people have registered for Punjab Congress’s digital initiative – Captain Smart Connect – that promises to distribute 50 lakh smartphones with free data and calling facility to the youth of the state, if elected to power. The initiative, launched on November 20 by Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh with the aim to empower the youth by digitally connecting them with the world, evoked good response and had to be extended on popular demand, political strategist Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) said in Chandigarh on Sunday.
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The scheme underlined Amarinder’s commitment to providing 50 lakh smartphones with free data and calling facility to youth between the age of 18-35 within the first 100 days of the formation of his government, the IPAC said. An allocation of Rs 4000-5000 crores would be made over a five-year period from the state budget for the implementation of the scheme, it said. The first phase of the scheme, from November 20 to 30, saw 20 lakh people register for their free smartphones.
The response and demand led to the extension of the registration deadline by 10 days, till December 10, the IPAC said. Of the 30 lakh registrations, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda reported the maximum number of registrations. Notably, 83 per cent of these registrations came from people between the ages of 18 and 25 years, and 16 per cent between 26 and 35. In the last 20 days of the campaign, Congress workers and volunteers set up multiple desks in each of Punjab 117 halkas to facilitate registrations on the ground.