Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had locked horns with the central government accusing the latter of rejecting its proposal of door-to-door delivery of ration. AAP claimed that under the guise of lack of approvals, the central government was denying free ration to the poor. Today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit back at Arvind Kejriwal, calling his scheme of doorstep delivery of ration nothing but a “jumla”.

Proposal to deliver ration to people’s homes is nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote a “scam”, Ravi Shankar Prasad

In a press conference Friday, Ravi Shankar Prasad tore into Arvind Kejriwal accusing his government in Delhi of being under the control of the ‘ration mafia’ and claimed that the proposal to deliver subsidised ration to people’s homes is nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote a “scam”.

He asked that if Kejriwal is actually concerned about his people then why hasn’t he implemented Centre’s ‘One nation, One ration card’ scheme in Delhi. Prasad slammed the Delhi CM saying that until now, 34 state and Union territories have implemented the scheme. The only three states have not adopted it, which are Delhi, West Bengal and Assam.

Why the ‘lokpriya CM’ wants to deprive its migrant worker from free ration? asks Prasad

Explaining the delay in BJP-ruled Assam, the union minister said that the One Nation One Ration Card scheme is linked to Aadhaar for authentication, and as Aadhaar registration has not been completed in Assam as it started after updating the NRC, the scheme has not been launched in the state. Regarding the delay in West Bengal, he said that “Mamata didi has problems with central policies”, and questioned Kejriwal as to what is the problem with Delhi not adopting the scheme.

“He talks dime to the dozen about ration cards and providing rations to the poor, but why have you not implemented the scheme? What is your problem?” the Union Minister reiterated.

“If you call yourself the “lokpriya CM”, then why would you want the migrant workers and the poor in your state to stay deprived of subsidised ration, questioned Prasad, mocking Kejriwal by furthering: “Delhi government wants the centre to do the work… all they want to do is give speeches on TV”.

The Union Minister informed that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Aan Yojana, the Modi government, like last year, is giving free ration to the needy till November this year. “One Nation One Ration Card’ is a very important scheme started by the central government. Until now, 28 crore portable transactions have been done on it.

He further said that the central government spends about 2 lakh crores annually in providing subsidised ration to the states to further distribute it to the poor, through fair price ration shops. Because these fair price shops are protected by the law’s provisions and are accountable for any lapses, these shops are at the heart of the distribution of subsidised grains to the needy, said Prasad. 

He also 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. 

Chances of misappropriation of ration during home delivery high: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Explaining why the AAP’s proposal of door to door delivery of ration is not a viable option, Prasad said that 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 been siphoned off on the way. Saying so, Prasad asked Kejriwal what problem he had in implementing the “one nation one ration card” scheme.

Next, the union minister slammed the Kejriwal government for not connecting its ration shops with electronic point of sale (EPOS) machine. This he said was being done to “evade” accountability.

The Union Minister claims here that as many as 4 lakh bogus ration cards were seized in the four months between January and April 2018, when the Kejriwal government had connected its ration stores to electronic point of sale (EPOS) machines. According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, this enraged the ration mafia, with whom the Delhi government is linked, leading to Kejriwal’s decision to stop e-verifying ration outlets after April 2018 till now.

Emphasizing Kejriwal’s proclivity for lying, Prasad claimed that when Kejriwal was questioned repeatedly, he presented the pathetic excuse that the e-authentication of ration shops was halted due to technical concerns. “If that be the reason then why didn’t he contact me or the GOI. If that be true then how did you complete 79 per cent authentication in those 4 months. What is preventing Delhi if hilly terrains like Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand can carry out the process?” Prasad asked.

Taking a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party leader, the Union minister said the Delhi government which could not deliver medicine and oxygen to people at home, is now talking about delivering grains at home.

Arvind Kejriwal accuses Central govt of rejecting the proposal of door-to-door delivery of ration

Prasad made the scathing remarks days after Arvind Kejriwal accused the Union Government of rejecting the proposal of door-to-door delivery of ration. AAP claimed that Kejriwal was ‘fighting’ against the ration mafia for decades and that the Modi govt cannot stop him.

It must be pointed out here that former Aam Aadmi Party MLA and social welfare minister Sandeep Kumar was accused of being involved in a sex racket for ration cards. The woman in a sex tape had alleged AAP leader had sexually abused her on the pretext of giving her a ration card.

AAP then cast aspersions on PM Modi and questioned what is his ‘setting’ with the ‘ration mafia’ because of which he is not letting Delhi government’s ration scheme being implemented.

The Government of India categorically denied the allegations raised by the Delhi Government and called them baseless. The fact is that GOI has not blocked the proposed State scheme of doorstep delivery. “The real solution lies in ushering in transparency, rightful targeting and implementation of One Nation One Ration Card(ONORC) in Delhi for refining the functioning of the PDS in the State of Delhi for the benefit of all rightful beneficiaries and migrants covered under NFSA,” the sources in the Government informed. 



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