Congress slams Raje government for ‘humiliating’ the poor

india Updated: Jun 21, 2017 23:09 IST

File Photo of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

The Congress on Wednesday attacked Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan for “humiliating” those getting subsidized foodgrains by asking them to paint “I am extremely poor” on the walls of their houses.

“It’s a sick joke. If the state government provides them ration under the Food Security Act, it’s their legal right, and not a charity from the government. It proves the BJP governments at the Centre and in states are anti-poor,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a press conference here.

To segregate the poor from the relatively well-to-do in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, the administration asked them to paint “I am extremely poor” on the walls of their houses if they want to avail subsidised ration. Hundreds of households in Sikrai and Bandikui tehsils were painted with this description with yellow colour used in the background on the walls.

“We have to suffer this humiliation for 10 kg of wheat. It has become difficult to hold our head high,” Santra Devi of Kundera Dungar village said. The plight of other villagers who are in BPL category is similar. Many villagers have removed the signs and are not availing themselves of the benefits.

Additional collector Dausa, KC Sharma, told HT that district administration had not given any such directive. “The zila parishad could have issued the directive as there were complaints of misuse of the Food Security Act by those who are not eligible. I will look into this complaint,” he said.

Citing official figures of suicide by farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Manish Tewari also attacked Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh for claiming that no state has done as much for farmers as the BJP-ruled state.

“In 2016, 1,600 farmers committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh; the figures stood at 6,076 from 2011 to 2015. These figures are not of the Congress, but of the national crime records bureau. Yet, the agriculture minister of India says no state has done as much for farmers as Madhya Pradesh. This is a shameful statement, which should be condemned,” said Tewari. Madhya Pradesh has been on the boil since the death of six farmers in police firing early this month, with the Congress joining the farmers in holding agitation programmes against Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

First Published: Jun 21, 2017 23:09 IST