Centre forestalled ‘big scam’ to divert food grains: BJP lashes out at Kejriwal


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:   The BJP on Sunday claimed that the Centre has forestalled a “big scam” that the AAP government might have committed by “diverting” subsidised food grains. 

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Delhi government is free to run such a scheme by purchasing grains at a notified rate, but it has no right to tweak a national programme under the Food Security Act to launch its own plan.

Patra also claimed that there is zero Aadhaar card authentication in Delhi and that the Kejriwal government had also earlier stopped the operation of POS machines, which allow biometric verification. It means there is no way one can find out if the food grains are being delivered to the needy. 

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rohini MLA Vijender Gupta on Sunday alleged withdrawing the Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme by the Delhi government in 2018 was a “flagrant example of corruption”.

While raising questions over Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s doorstep ration delivery scheme, Gupta said instead of weeding out fake ration card holders, the AAP convener “put the (Centre’s) scheme in cold storage”.

“E-PoS devices have been installed all over the country by the central government. However, in Delhi the scheme was withdrawn, after implementing it once. This is a flagrant example of corruption,” Gupta said in a statement.

Under the Centre’s scheme, e-PoS (electronic point of sale) devices were installed at Fair Price Shops, which allowed the ration card holder to receive subsidised food grains from any such shop.

“Kejriwal government had implemented e-PoS system in January 2018, after which, 4 lakh fake ration card holders were identified. Kejriwal government, instead of weeding them out, put the scheme in cold storage in April 2018,” he alleged.

The former Delhi BJP president said that by implementing the doorstep ration delivery scheme, the Delhi government “wishes to handover Rs 1,000 crore worth ration to private companies in the name of doorstep delivery”.

“What is the guarantee that the ration would reach the intended beneficiary and not be siphoned off,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal claimed that the doorstep delivery of ration scheme was stalled by the Centre and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow it for the benefit of 70 lakh people in Delhi.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday alleged that the BJP is interested in “abusing” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal instead of preventing theft of ration in the country.

He also alleged that the saffron party was behind the theft of ration of 80 crore people across the country.

The Delhi government on Saturday had claimed the doorstep delivery of ration scheme was rejected by the Lt governor saying the Centre’s approval was not sought and that a litigation was pending in the high court regarding it.

The central government has said that Delhi government’s claim was “baseless” that its doorstep delivery scheme was rejected.

(With PTI Inputs)

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