Aggressive BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra who is fighting elections from Odisha’s Puri Lok Sabha seat tweeted a video on Sunday visiting a rural home, and sharing a meal with a family.
Dressed in traditional clothing, rapped in a saffron colored shawl, sitting cross-legged on the floor before a banana leaf plate, the video shows an old woman cooking food in a wooden stove.
However, the gesture of Patra visiting the was not of question, but instead the claims of the government’s success of Ujjwala Yojana, the scheme to provide free cooking gas connections to rural women of the Below Poverty Line households.
The government launched the scheme in 2016, and they claim it to be successful.
The video shows glimpses of a woman sitting and cooking before an earthen, wood-burning stove.
His tweet in Oriya read: “This is my home, my mother fed me food cooked by her. I also fed her with my own hands. I know service to mankind is the biggest service to God”.
Many on Twitter questioned the success of the scheme, which, the government said on International Women’s Day, the scheme reached 7 crore households.
On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in view of speed at which connections are being disbursed, the programme’s goal has been scaled up to eight crore connections by 2020.
But with LPG cylinders costing an average of INR₹ 800, there has been criticism that many BPL families are unable to afford a refill. Critics have questioned if the government were fudging the figures, just like how they played around with GDP numbers.
The government website shows data the count of families have received a cooking gas connection, but there is no data on refills.