Delhi government under control of ‘ration mafia’, says BJP


Kejriwal has been saying Centre was refusing to approve his govt’s scheme of home delivery of rations to poor

The BJP on Friday accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government of being “under the control” of a “ration mafia”. It also alleged that the AAP’s proposal of home delivery of subsidised rations was to promote a “scam”.

At a press conference, BJP leader and Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said fair price shops were at the core of supplies of subsidised food grains to the poor, as they were covered under legal provisions and thus accountable for any lapse.

“If grains are home delivered, people will not get to know how much of it is going where and how much of it might have disappeared on the way,” he said.

Mr. Prasad attacked the Delhi government for not implementing the “one nation one ration card” scheme and not connecting its ration shops with the electronic point of sale (EPOS) machine to “evade” accountability.

‘A jumla’

“Grains at doorstep is very much a ‘jumla’ [rhetoric]. The Delhi government is under the control of ration mafia,” he alleged. “You want to break the law. You want to throw dust into the eyes of the people of Delhi. The Central government procures and spends money on the scheme and you have to follow the law,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had been saying that the Centre was refusing to approve his government’s scheme of home delivery of rations to the poor.

Mr. Prasad stated that Mr. Kejriwal was free to launch a separate scheme outside the Food Security Act covered programme. He noted that the Centre provided 37,573 tonnes of subsidised grains to 73 lakh people in Delhi at a cost of ₹1,163 crore. He asserted that the interests of Delhi were very much prioritised. The Centre was annually spending ₹ 2 lakh crore to give subsidised ration to people. The Delhi government could not deliver medicine and oxygen to people at home but it was now talking about delivering grains at home, he said.

To help the migrant population receive their quota of ration at their place of work, the Union government launched the “one nation one ration card” scheme, but Delhi was among the three States that did not implement it. The Kejriwal government had stopped e-authentication of ration shops within four months of its launch in 2018 after lakhs of fake ration cards were spotted. It also had no data on Dalit and tribal beneficiaries of the ration scheme, he added.

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