The move has drawn criticism from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which slammed the state government for launching the "Community Specific" Scheme and accused it of indulging in minority vote bank politics.
Rampur is about 300 kms from Lucknow. Girls whose parents have an annual income of Rs.36000 are eligible for the scheme. As many as 14000 girls were benefiting from the scheme, he said. He also assured that in future, all deserving girls would benefit from the scheme across the state.
On distributing the cheques to beneficiaries from Moradabad division at the Mohamad Ali Jauhar University campus, Akilesh Yadav pointed out that the scheme was the brainchild of Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, who had also coined its name.
Moreover, as the Chief Minister was distributing cheques at the campus, hundreds of girls, a majority of them Muslims, protested the criterion of selection and tried to meet the chief minister but were stopped by the large police troop at the function site.
A Spokesperson of BJP, Vijay Pathak, meanwhile said that he was surprised to see a full page of advertisements in all news papers about the scheme and questioned the scheme being titles "Hamari Beti, Uska Kal".
He said "What is the message that this government is trying to send? Are only Muslim girls there and what about the other communities and castes?" adding that, the BJP would take up the matter more seriously.