Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another five months till the end of November to help the poor in view of the upcoming festivals like Diwali and Chhath Puja. "From July the festival seasons start, Guru Purnima will be celebrated on July 5. Following this, the month of Saawan will start," he said.
PM Modi then went ahead and listed festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Kati Bihu, Navratri, Durga Pooja and Dussehra.
"In this season of festivals, the needs and expenses of all increases. Keeping this in mind, the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana has been extended till Diwali and Chatth Puja, i.e till the end of November," the Prime Minister added during his 16-minute address.
While Narendra Modi almost mentioned every festival that falls between July and November, a section of Twitter called him out for skipping the two major Islamic festivals - Eid-Ul-Adha and Muharram.
A user wrote, "#NarendraModi leaves out to mention forthcoming Eid while mentioning all other festivals, not a big deal, we don't care but it shows his cheapness. It reflects his quality. We Indian Muslims don't lose anything."
"Forgot that in India there are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist who have their festival and celebrate too," wrote another user.
A tweet read: "PM @narendramodi of a nation of with 172 million #Muslims doesn't mention the festival of #Eid (which is in August) in his address to the nation. He mentions EVERY festival that's in the coming months.Petty. No not pretty. I said petty. #ModiGovernment"
Here are the tweets:
In his speech, PM Modi announced that the government, during these five months, will give each family member 5-kilogram wheat or 5 kilogram rice free of cost, apart from this each family will get free one kg of chana (chick peas).The Prime Minister further said that the extension of this scheme will require an additional expense of Rs 90 thousand crore.
"If we add the expenses incurred during the past three months then it totals to around Rs 1.5 lakh crore," he further said.
The scheme was announced by the Centre as part of the first rescue package during the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme ends on June 30.
The scheme, announced for a three month period, covered 80 crore ration cardholders. Each household was provided 5 kg of food grains (rice or wheat) and 1 kg of pulses (only channa) free of cost. Already, 21 states -- both BJP-ruled and Opposition-led governments -- had appealed to the Centre to extend the scheme for another three months till September.
Earlier in his speech, the Prime Minister had urged citizens to follow all safety guidelines for protection against COVID-19 as the country enters phase two of the Unlock.
Inputs by ANI.