Lauds Yogi govt. for cracking down on ‘mafia’
Under the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, women had both security and rights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday even as he targeted the Opposition over criticism of the Centre’s decision to increase legal marriage age for women to 21. “The country is taking this decision for our daughters but everybody can see who is feeling pained by this,” said Mr. Modi in U.P.’s Prayagraj, without as usual naming anyone. Referring to the change in legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, Mr. Modi said women had desired more time to pursue their education and to get equal opportunities. Again endorsing Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s law and order model and action against suspected criminals, Mr. Modi said “Yogji has sent these goons to their right place”.Five years ago, there was “mafia raj on the streets” of U.P. and goons had an influence over the government, and “my sisters and daughters of U.P.” were the biggest victims of this, said Mr. Modi, targetting the previous Samajwadi Party government. “It was difficult for them to step out on the streets and go to school or college. You could not say anything because if you went to the thana (police station), a phone call would be made advocating for the criminal or rapist,” Mr. Modi said. Mr. Modi was speaking at a government programme for women where he transferred ₹1,000 crore in the bank account of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), benefiting around 16 lakh women members of the SHGs, according to the government. The transfer of funds was being done under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission, with 80,000 SHGs receiving Community Investment Fund of ₹1.10 lakh per SHG and 60,000 SHGs receiving revolving fund of ₹15,000 per SHG. Mr. Modi also listed several schemes and programmes initiated by his government benefiting women, including toilets, free cooking gas for the poor and taps in homes. “The security and honour provided to women in U.P. by the double-engine government and the way their dignity has been enhanced is unprecedented,” said Mr. Modi. The double engine government was continuously working without “discrimination or partiality” to empower the future of women, he said.