Hitting out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for attacking the Centre over its move to stop the doorstep delivery of ration scheme, the BJP claimed the Union government had forestalled a “big scam” to divert subsidised foodgrains.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Sunday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged there is zero Aadhaar card authentication in Delhi, against the national average of 80%, and that the Kejriwal government had earlier stopped operation of POS machines which allow biometric verification.
“It means there is no way one can find out if food grains are being delivered to the needy or diverted,” he alleged.
“Kejriwal blamed the Centre, but the truth is that over 72.78 lakh people are benefitting from the Food Security Act,” Patra said. Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojna, which provides free ration to the poor in May and June, the Delhi government has so far lifted 53,045 MT of grains out of 72,782 MT sent by the Centre and distributed only 68% of what it has lifted, he further said.
Patra also alleged the Delhi government’s scheme was a scam as people will be charged money to get wheat flour as part of it.
Responding to Patra’s charge, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: “He said we want to levy an extra charge. Mr Patra should read the Centre’s guidelines. It is written clearly that if someone wants wheat to be ground to aata, Rs 3 can be charged for this. Our scheme says we will charge Rs 2 and will deliver aata to their homes. Your problem is not Rs 2, your problem is that ration will reach people’s homes, and BJP will not be able to pilfer it.”
He added: “I had hoped the BJP would understand that giving ration to people at home was a step in the right direction…, but I was mistaken. Sambit Patra abused the Delhi CM many, many times today, but I am not going to stoop to that and respond to it.”
Sisodia also accused the BJP of wanting the current system to continue, saying they benefit from it: “They want us to shut our eyes to pilferage and theft that goes on…”