AAP, BJP spar over ration card deletions in Delhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday sparred over the deletion of 2.48 lakh ration cards in the city.
BJP leader Vijender Gupta accused the AAP government of “corruption” in ration distribution and said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was backing fake card holders.
AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj countered that the BJP was “hand in glove” with the ration mafia and it had exposed its anti-poor character by welcoming cancellation of ration cards.
The AAP government had on Monday said ration cards were cancelled without following the due process. Kejriwal had also warned the authorities concerned of “disciplinary action” over the deletion of names.
Gupta claimed 2.93 lakh ration cards were deleted but food commissioner Mohanjeet Singh had on Monday clarified that 2.48 lakh cards were cancelled after following all rules.
Delhi has a cap of 72.78 lakh ration cards. Issuance of new cards was put on hold after the number of beneficiaries reached the upper limit.
There are 2,254 fair-price shops in Delhi from where foodgrains are distributed to card holders at subsidised rates.
“The fake card holders were depriving the genuine poor who had been waiting for years to obtain their ration cards. It is a deep-rooted conspiracy to help AAP and its workers by giving ration distribution rights to some private company. The CM is misleading public by shedding crocodile tears,” Gupta alleged.
Gupta said the aggressive opposition by Kejriwal showed that his party men were being deprived of benefits due to the cancellation of bogus ration cards.
Reacting to Gupta’s allegations, Bharadwaj said it was “extremely shocking” that the BJP was defending the officers responsible for large-scale corruption in the ration distribution system for so many years.
“Why are the BJP and the L-G silent on the question that even if a single ration card was found to be fake, then who was the officer responsible for it? Why is BJP’s L-G not taking action against the culprits?” Bharadwaj asked.
He said it was the department’s duty to conduct a door-to-door survey to check if genuine ration beneficiaries are being denied their rights.
Bharadwaj said people who migrate from Bihar and UP to Delhi for work stay in rented rooms in urban villages, unauthorised colonies and keep changing their rented accommodation.
After the failure of electronic point of sale (E-POS) devices, their ration was suspended and they were asked to submit residence proof such as electricity bill of their earlier accommodation as mentioned in their ration cards. “How can they keep updating their Aadhaar cards and other documents if they change their rented accommodation every 1-2 years. With this move a large numbers of genuine poor had been denied ration permanently,” he said.
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