Congress vindicated on 'bogus' Atta-Dal scheme: Preneet Kaur

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 21:41 IST

Congress leader and Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur on Wednesday said her party's grievance about the "arbitrary and discriminatory" method employed for registration of beneficiaries for the revised Atta-Dal scheme in the state stood vindicated as nearly 50% beneficiaries were allegedly found to be bogus.

Kaur regretted that a large number of genuine and deserving people have still not been registered under the scheme.

The MLA recalled that in September 2014, the Congress sent a detailed memorandum to the chief minister demanding that "the same analogy and criteria be employed for the applicant-families of Patiala district as have been applied in Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa districts and that all of them be issued Blue Ration Cards".

She said the real, grave issue is that while 80-99% applicants in these three districts (known strongholds of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal) were brought under the scheme, 70% applicant-families in Kaur's constituency Patiala were rejected.

Kaur further said initially the scrutiny of the applications was undertaken through the unconstitutional institution of Halqa-incharges of the SAD "who did not see beyond their party rank and file".

"The method employed for registration of beneficiaries left many within the ruling alliance upset and some of the ministers raised this issue in a cabinet meeting in early November 2014 where after the distribution of essential commodities to the Blue Card Holders was suspended and re-verification ordered," she said.

She said she raised the issue in the Winter Session of the Vidhan Sabha through a starred question but alleged the government evaded discussions "for obvious reasons".

"Unfortunately, the re-verification has also been conducted through the same unconstitutional agents of the ruling alliance," Kaur alleged.

On the government claims on the linkage of the Blue Ration Cards with the Adhaar Cards, Kaur said Adhaar was a proof of identity and did not lend genuineness to a registered beneficiary.

It could at the most check duplicity but nothing else, she said.

"The intention of the SAD-BJP regime is not good and it has not come clean even after re-verification as a large number of deserving eligible families has not been registered as beneficiaries," the Congress MLA said, adding that she would continue her fight over the issue.

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