Patra says Delhi govt. can’t tweak or stop national programme
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday alleged that the BJP has no interest in preventing the theft of ration or keeping a check on its black marketing but was only hurling “abuses” at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The BJP claimed that the Centre has forestalled a “big scam”, which the Delhi government would have committed by “diverting” subsidised food grains.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Delhi government is free to run such a scheme by purchasing grains at a notified rate, but it has no right to tweak or stop a national programme of subsidised ration distribution under the Food Security Act to launch its own plan.
“We will never know to whom Kejriwal is giving ration to. He wanted to launch a ration diverting system. He wanted to start a big scam as the ration would not reach the right person and nobody knows where it might have gone… The Centre has prevented a big scam from taking place,” the BJP spokesperson alleged.
Mr. Sisodia said the BJP leader (Mr. Patra) did not talk about ration theft in the country and has misplaced priorities in the times of crisis.
“Kejriwal has appealed to the PM for approval of doorstep delivery of ration in Delhi. We were hopeful that our appeals were being heard by the right people but instead, Mr. Patra in his press conference berated Mr. Kejriwal,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
‘Ration is stolen’
He said the BJP claimed that 80 crore citizens in India receive ration but conveniently missed out on the crucial information on how much of this ration is stolen and sold on a large scale, and how many have to suffer because of this.
“The BJP has no interest in eliminating the black marketing of ration in the nation. They want that this shadow economy of ration should thrive and the poor in our country should keep on suffering. If someone tries to stop this illicit black marketing, they have to hear reprehensible statements from the mouth of BJP leaders,” Mr. Sisodia added.
On the claims from the BJP that the Delhi government wants to earn an extra buck through ration distribution, Mr. Sisodia said the Centre has released an order wherein State governments can charge an additional ₹3 if they wish to provide grounded wheat to people.
“Haryana government charges ₹3 and distributes flour [atta] instead of ration. Whereas the Delhi government charges only ₹2 for the same and also delivers ration to homes of people. All is well when the BJP-ruled States distribute ration for ₹3 but when the Delhi government decides to start doorstep delivery of ration to households of the poor, they have a huge problem,” Mr. Sisodia said.
This article was originally published on The Hindu