Bhopal, Sep 30 (PTI) On the day bypolls to 28 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh were announced, the state cabinet approved granting of constitutional status to the State Backward Class Commission, as earlier promised by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister and cabinet spokesman Narottam Mishra gave the information to reporters on Tuesday after the state cabinet meeting.
The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that by- elections to 28 seats in MP, most of which fell vacant when rebel Congress members resigned from the party and the assembly to join the BJP, will be held on November 3.
'The constitutional status that the Centre had granted to the Backward Class Commission at the central level, has now been accorded to the state-level body,' Mishra said.
'The previous Congress government had given a lollipop of 27 per cent reservation to the backward classes. But the BJP government has granted constitutional status to the commission on the lines of the Centre, which was earlier announced by Chouhan,' the minister added.
The commission will have a chairman, a vice-chairman and three members, he said.
'They are empowered to summon officials,' Mishra said.
State Congress media cell chairman and former minister Jitu Patwari, however, alleged that the BJP government was trying to fool the people through this move.
'If they were serious about it, they should have granted the constitutional status earlier. What message are they trying to give by according this status just when the EC was announcing the bypoll schedule? It is like giving a lollipop to the people from backward classes,' he added.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also gave its approval to give Rs 4,000 annually per farmer in the state as welfare fund, which will be in addition to the Rs 6,000 given by the Centre under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, Mishra said.
'It will ensure that every farmer in the state with small land-holding will get Rs 10,000 per year,' he said.
According to him, there are 80 lakh farmers in the state.
'Under central farmers' scheme, Madhya Pradesh gets nearly Rs 5,000 crore every year and the state government will contribute additional Rs 3,000 crore. This way, the farmers will get total Rs 8,000 crore into their accounts annually.
And in five years, this amount will be Rs 40,000 crore,' Mishra said.
The state government has already given Rs 8,000 crore under the crop insurance scheme, he said while alleging that the earlier government only duped them.
'Not a single farmer's loan of up to Rs two lakh was waived as promised (by the Congress government). Whenever they were asked, they used to say that the coffers are empty. But now you can see how farmers are getting money into their bank accounts,' he added. PTI MAS NP NP