New Delhi: Congress general secretary Ajay Maken Monday questioned the Gujarat government and Chief Minister Narendra Modi for setting a new criteria for identification of below poverty line (BPL) families at daily consumption expenditure of Rs.10.80.

The Gujarat Food and Civil Supplies Department had recently issued a circular defining the BPL identification criteria at daily consumption expenditure of Rs.10.80, Maken said at a press conference here.

He said Modi in his Chhattisgarh rally Sep 7 had criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Planning Commission for fixing the BPL criteria at a daily earning of Rs.32. He had said if that was a joke with the poor people, “isn’t their criteria even a greater joke”.

The Congress party has also asked for an apology from the Gujarat government.

Maken added: “The civil supplies department has no right to take such a decision. With the passage (in Parliament) of the Food Security Act, there is no question of entitlement. One can’t go back to BPL and start identifying (those who qualify under the scheme).”

Reacting to the media report, Gujarat Food and Civil Supplies secretary R.P. Gupta said they had merely reiterated the guidelines issued by the central government in 2004.

Free Press Journal