BJP attacks Dikshit for `Rs 600 per month` remark

Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit came under attack from BJP for her comment that Rs 600 per month could provide for basic needs like pulses and rice for a family of five.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit on Sunday came under attack from BJP for her comment that Rs 600 per month could provide for basic needs like pulses and rice for a family of five.

Dikshit, however, responded by saying that her remark had been presented out of context and those criticising the scheme had not understood the concept.

Attacking Dikshit for her comment at the launch of food security scheme `Dilli Anna Shri Yojna` here yesterday, BJP leader Vijay Goel said that the Chief Minister had no idea of the cost of flour and pulses.

"Dikshit has never been to a jhuggi cluster, unauthorised colony, village... That is why despite being a woman, she has no idea of `atta` and `dal`....Before elections this scheme has been brought to lure voters," he said.

Goel also said that Dikshit`s claim that Rs 600 were enough to sustain a family of five meant that Rs 4 were enough for one person a day. He said that Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had also earlier said that Rs 27 in rural and Rs 32 a day in urban areas were sufficient for sustenance.

He questioned the criterion for identifying the government`s cash transfer scheme and said that it was only a ploy to attract voters in the elections that were approaching.

BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also hit out at the Chief Minister over her reported statement. "It is punching a poor man on his face after inflation....The Delhi Government has carried out economic blockade of the poor," he said.

In Chennai, party leader M Venkaiah Naidu attacked Congress, saying that before it talked about direct cash transfer scheme, it should answer the allegations of cash transfer from the US Walmart.

"These are all electoral gimmicks. Before they talked about direct cash transfer, there is an allegations of direct cash transfer from US-Walmart. So now they have agreed to our demand for an inquiry, wait for the inquiry report," Naidu said.

Asked about her reported comments that Rs 600 per month remark, Dikshit said that the comment was taken out of context.

"I was explaining the various aspects of the scheme.... Those who have criticised the scheme have not been unable to understand the concept," she said.

Downplaying the BJP attack, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said that the cash transfer scheme was a historic step for direct help to the people.

"Don`t think (just) about Delhi...Direct cash of Rs 600 will go to the pocket of a poor person....This the BJP cannot realise...But only the person who receives that amount. This is a historic step which all should invite praise," he said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had yesterday launched the food security programme of Delhi Government where Dikshit had made the controversial comments.

"We will carry out the cash transfer scheme for those families who are poor so that they can use the cash component of Rs 600 at least to get rice, dal. So that a family of five members can sustain," Dikshit had said yesterday.


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