Delhi Govt Under Control of ‘Ration Mafia’, Says BJP Amid Row Over Doorstep Delivery Scheme


The BJP on Friday alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government is under the control of “ration mafia” and claimed that its proposal of home delivery of subsidised grains is merely a show to promote a “scam”. Addressing a press conference, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Kejriwal government cannot violate the Food Security Act, and fair price ration shops are at its core for the supply of subsidised grains to the poor as they are covered under the law’s provisions and are 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, while attacking the Delhi government for not implementing the “One nation one ration card” scheme and not connecting its ration shops with electronic point of sale (EPOS) machine to “evade” accountability.

“Grains at doorstep is very much a ‘jumla’ (rhetoric). The Delhi government is under the control of ration mafia,” Prasad 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.

With Kejriwal targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government for not approving his dispensation’s home delivery scheme, the senior BJP leader said the chief minister is free to launch a separate scheme outside the Food Security Act-covered programme.

Prasad noted that the Centre provides 37,573 tonnes subsidised grains to 73 lakh people in Delhi at the cost of Rs 1,163 crore, asserting that the interest of Delhi is very much its interest as well. The central government is annually spending Rs 2 lakh crore to give subsidised ration to people, he said.

Taking a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party leader, he said the Delhi government could not deliver medicine and oxygen to people at home but it is now talking about delivering grains at home. To help migrant population receive their quota of ration at their place of work, the central government launched “one nation one ration card” scheme but Delhi is among the three states which has not implemented it.

The Kejriwal government also stopped e-authentication of ration shops within four months of its launch in 2018 after lakhs of fake ration cards were spotted, he claimed and a sought reply from the chief minister as to why the process was not completed. The Delhi government also has no data on dalit and tribal beneficiaries of the ration scheme, he said.

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