The central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, put on hold Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s doorstep delivery of ration scheme (Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana), a week before it was to launch. Terming Kejriwal’s ration scheme ‘a big scam’, the BJP said that the Centre has stopped a fraud.
The Delhi government said that the Lieutenant Governor halted the scheme, citing two reasons. One, the Centre is yet to approve the scheme and two, that a case against the scheme is ongoing in the Delhi High Court.
Meanwhile, dismissing the Kejriwal government’s claim, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution stated that the Centre has neither blocked the scheme nor denied to grant additional ration to Delhi. “GOI had only informed them about the rule position of the scheme,” said the ministry in a statement.
“If Pizza, Burgers Can Be Delivered… Why Not Ration”
Delhi CM Kejriwal has attacked the Centre for not allowing his government to execute the doorstep delivery of ration scheme. “Why are you stopping us,” asked Kejriwal in a press conference addressing the prime minister, claiming that even though everything was arranged, the Modi government suddenly stopped the scheme.
He alleged that his government took approval at least five times, even though it is not required to do, in order to avoid dispute with the central government. “Over the past 75 years, the poor people of this country have been suffering from powerful ration mafia and our government (AAP) has courage to challenge them,” said the Delhi CM.
He further asked, “If pizza, burgers, smartphones and clothes can be delivered at home, then why can’t ration be delivered at their doorstep?”
BJP Hits Out At Kejriwal
BJP has rubbished Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations over Centre’s move to block the scheme. The party alleges that the Kejriwal’s government intention was to “divert” a scam into a scheme, in the name of poor people.
Hours after Kejriwal’s allegations against Centre, BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra said that more than 7,200 MT of food grains was sent to Delhi under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to the state’s poor people in May and June, but the Kejriwal government had failed to distribute 100 percent of the Centre’s free allocation.
In his virtual press conference, Sambit Patra accused Kejriwal of not accepting the Centre’s provision of One Nation-One Ration Card, depriving thousands of migrant workers of access to this programme.
Why The Centre Has Objection
The central government has been objecting to Kejriwal’s ambitious doorstep delivery of ration scheme since he proposed the idea this year in early February. Blocking Kejriwal’s move to provide home delivery of free ration, the union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had objected that no state has the right to turn Centre’s scheme into a local programme.
The ministry also made it clear in March that the state cannot change the status of the Centre’s highly subsidised food grains allocated to it under the National Food Security Act, 2013. Earlier, Kejriwal wanted to launch this scheme with the name of “Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana,” which he later dropped after the ministry’s objection.
PM Announces Free Ration For 80 Crore
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi, on Monday, announced that 80 crore people of India will get free ration till November under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. The move comes in the view of the second wave of COVID-19 that has severely affected the lives and livelihoods of the country. Under the scheme, the Centre will provide 5 kg of food grains per person, free of cost. This scheme was also implemented last year between April to November.