Chandigarh, November 16 (Language) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress on Thursday criticized the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of Punjab over the idea of starting a scheme to deliver wheat flour to the doorsteps of beneficiaries.
The BJP accused the Bhagwant Mann-led government of “appropriating” the Centre’s wheat distribution scheme for “cheap publicity and political gains”, while the Congress said it would put additional burden on the state exchequer.
It was reported in a section of the media that the AAP government was planning to start ‘home delivery’ of wheat or flour for the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act. Citing the news, BJP’s Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar alleged that the AAP government wants to sideline the central scheme.
He said that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 80 crore poor people of the country get free food grains.
Jakhar said that the number of such beneficiaries in Punjab is 1.41 crore.
He claimed that Rs 670 crore would be spent on the ‘home delivery’ scheme of flour.
He said that the AAP government should tell the public why the central scheme being implemented smoothly in the state is being tampered with.
He alleged that attempts were being made to “hijack” the central scheme.
Responding to Jakhar’s allegations, AAP spokesperson in Punjab Ahbab Grewal said the BJP leader is not concerned about the state.
He said, “These people are shedding crocodile tears to fool Punjabis. But now the people of Punjab are not going to fall into their trap.
Grewal asked that if Jakhar and other BJP leaders were so concerned about Punjab then why did they not raise the issue of pending Rural Development Fund and withholding of funds under the National Health Mission with the Centre.
Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Pratap Singh Bajwa cautioned the AAP government against this “flawed” plan.
“Not only are beneficiaries at risk of getting substandard flour, the AAP government’s flagship scheme will also put unnecessary burden on the state exchequer,” Bajwa said in a statement.
Language Surbhi Avinash