‘Can Deliver Pizza, Why Not Allow Ration?’: Delhi CM Asks PM Modi
“If pizza, burgers can be delivered at home, why can’t ration be delivered at people’s doorstep?” Kejriwal asked.
A day after the central government blocked the Delhi government’s plans to launch doorstep home delivery of rations, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘standing with the ration mafia.’
He said that the real reason for the block is that the Centre does not want the Delhi administration to get credit by distributing central government’s ration.
Kejriwal held a press conference on Sunday, 6 June, directly addressing Modi, and requested, “Please let me carry out this scheme, all the credit will be yours.”
MLA Satyendar Jain tweeted a clip from the press conference.
On Saturday, the Aam Aadmi Party’s government in the national capital had said in a statement, "Delhi government was all set to launch Doorstep Delivery of Ration scheme across Delhi within 1 to 2 days, benefiting 72 lakh poor beneficiaries.”
The statement added, “Based on central government's suggestion, cabinet passed a decision to remove the name 'Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna' for the scheme and to implement doorstep delivery as part of the existing NFS Act, 2013. This addresses all the concerns of central government,” NDTV reported.
“However, Lieutenant Governor (LG) has rejected the file for implementation of Doorstep Delivery of Ration citing two reasons – Centre is yet to approve the scheme, and an ongoing court case. No approval for launching such a scheme is required as per existing law,” the statement further added.
Reacting to the block, AAP accused PM Modi and asked him in a tweet, “What kind of an arrangement do you have with the ration mafia that you had to stop the Kejriwal government's 'Ghar Ghar Ration Scheme'?"
What Kejriwal Said in the Digital Conference
Calling the door-to-door delivery of ration a “revolutionary step,” Kejriwal asked Modi why the central government stopped the scheme just two days before its rollout.
Kejriwal asserted that “nobody has dared to stop the ration mafia in 75 years. Delhi has finally seen a government that will fight them. But just see how strong the mafia has proved out to be. Just a week before the scheme was to be launched, the mafia got it cancelled.”
Saying that the Delhi government has taken the central government’s approval five times, even though legally, Kejriwal claims, there is no need for this approval.
Kejriwal further questioned, “If pizza, burgers, smartphones and clothes can be delivered at home, then why can't ration be delivered at people’s doorstep?”
He also maintained that the court case by ration shop owners had asked for a stay on the scheme and the high court refused. Further, it was claimed that the central government itself did not raise any objections in the court.
Referring to this, Kejriwal asked, “If high court didn’t put a stay on the scheme, then why are you putting a stay on this scheme? Why are you so sympathetic towards ration shop owners? If you will stand with the ration mafia, then who will stand with the poor.”
In March, the central government had flagged a few concerns about the scheme saying it could result in ration cardholders buying grains and other necessities at a higher rate than that fixed under a central law, PTI reported.
According to the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the scheme could also make it difficult for those who take the ration to relocate, stalling the shift towards biometric verification of cardholders.
Kejriwal said in the video conference, “People are distressed that the central government is fighting everyone. If we fight like this, how will we tackle COVID-19?
He added that the ration does not belong to the central government, nor does it belong to the AAP, as it belongs to the people.
The implementation of the home delivery scheme is the latest tussle between the AAP government in Delhi and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.