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Kamal Nath Govt on Backfoot After Ministers End up Endorsing Smoking and Drinking in Bid to Glorify Welfare Schemes

Addressing a public rally on Friday, Congress minister Pradyumn Singh Tomar said the Rs 1000 doled out to elder farmers was meant for consumption of “chewing tobacco and smoking beedis”.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:March 4, 2019, 3:17 PM IST
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Kamal Nath Govt on Backfoot After Ministers End up Endorsing Smoking and Drinking in Bid to Glorify Welfare Schemes
File photo of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath. (PTI Photo)
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Bhopal: The Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh found itself on a sticky wicket, after two of its ministers ended up endorsing smoking and drinking, in an attempt to talk up various welfare schemes launched by the Congress in the state.

Addressing a public rally on Friday, Congress minister Pradyumn Singh Tomar said the Rs 1000 doled out to elder farmers was meant for consumption of “chewing tobacco and smoking beedis”.

In an attempt to glorify the ruling government’s scheme for providing Rs 1,000 pension for elderly farmers, the minister said that now, after acquiring financial independence, the elders of the village will be able to sustain their habits of smoking beedis and chewing tobacco without seeking support from their families.

The Congress had announced to offer Rs 1,000 pension to farmers above the age of 60 years in its Vachan Patra (election manifesto).

Meanwhile Tomar’s ministerial colleague and the Sports and Youth Welfare minister Jitu Patwari came up with another shocker on Saturday, claiming the enhanced level of financial assistance provided under the govt’s Kanyadan Yojana was coming good for arranging liquor at weddings.

Speaking at a public rally in Ratlam, Patwari claimed the financial assistance could be used for arranging "desi, as well as videshi” liquor in marriages.

Taking forward the Kanyadan Yojana of the previous BJP government, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, soon after coming to power, had hiked the financial assistance under the scheme from Rs 25,000 to Rs 51,000.

Hitting the nail on the head, the BJP then hit out at Congress for the remarks, with party spokesperson Rajneesh Agarwal claiming the ministers with key responsibilities were “non-serious” and “were poking fun” at their own welfare schemes.

Coming to the defence of its ministers, Congress Party Legal Cell in-charge and spokesperson JP Dhanopia, claimed the circulated videos seem fake. All party leaders including the ministers in question are sensible and responsible, he added.
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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