The war of words over deletion of around 2.5 lakh names from ration delivery system in the national capital intensified on Thursday with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging PMO behind the move.
On the other hand, opposition BJP hit out at Kejriwal saying he should immediately resume the electronic point of sale (e-PoS) system of ration distribution and stop “drama” over the scheme for doorstep delivery of ration.
The Delhi government on last Monday had alleged that Food Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh decided to cancel more than 2.9 lakh ration cards without proper inspection.
Rejecting the government’s allegation, Singh had said 2.48 lakh “ineligible” ration card holders have been deleted after following “due process of law”.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj cited examples of some genuine ration card holders whose ration cards were cancelled, from his constituency Greater Kailash, saying the move by Food department officers has come to affect such beneficiaries.
Reacting to this, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that names were deleted at the behest of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“The ration cards were cancelled by the PMO exerting pressure on officers, despite consistent resistance by Delhi government. Just see how it is causing inconvenience to poor. PMO should not forcibly get cancelled ration cards of the poor,” he said.
Replying to the allegation, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari alleged AAP government was trying to “protect” vested interests by raising the issue, and demanded the Chief Minister for immediate resumption of e-PoS system for supply of ration to the poor people.
He said that after implementation of e-PoS system, around 2.9 lakh ration card holders did not turn up to get ration. Later, on being given a chance around 38,000 came back while rest of around 2.5 lakh ration cards were found to be “fake”.
“Arvind Kejriwal government is responsible for the ration scam going on for the last three years in Delhi. He should reply where do the 2.5 lakh ration card holders have vanished,” he said in a press conference.
Tiwari also alleged that a sizeable number of poor people in Delhi were deprived of ration cards.
“Delhi government instead of indulging in drama over door step delivery of ration, should first ensure doorstep delivery of ration cards to the poor people,” he said.
The ruling AAP suspended e-PoS system in April, on complaints of problems encountered due to connectivity and AADHAAR issues, and had come forth with the scheme of doorstep delivery of ration which is presently lying pending with Food department saying approval of the Centre to the scheme was needed before its implementation.