New Delhi: The controversial Government
affidavit on Below Poverty Line (BPL) cap was condemned by
Opposition today as an "insult and betrayal" of the poor and
also slammed by a key UPA ally NCP.
The Congress on its part asserted that the affidavit was
"not the last word" and that there can be bonafide differences
The affidavit also came under attack from civil society
which sarcastically said that if one earns even one rupee more
than Rs 32 per day he will not be entitled to a BPL card.
Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council member Aruna
Roy criticised the affidavit saying it reflected government`s
deep lack of empathy for the poor and a perspective completely
divorced from reality.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar threw a challenge to
the government to discuss with it the affidavit at any forum,
saying this is the worst insult inflicted upon the poor.
"The Planning Commission affidavit in the Supreme Court
deciding the number of poor people living below the poverty
line is an insult to the poor, who are suffering because of
raging inflation and corruption," he said, adding "This is a
betrayal of the poor and is akin to rubbing salt on their
The government had said in the affidavit that the
revised benchmark for fixing those falling in BPL category is
an earning of Rs 32 per day. Under the new definition, Rs 965
per month in urban areas and Rs 781 per month in rural areas
is the criteria fixed for BPL.
CPI leader D Raja said the affidavit is ridiculous and
completely unrealistic and clearly shows the disconnect
between the Planning Commission with ground realities.
"Planning Commission affidavit shows total lack of
sensitivity towards the poor and it has been fortunately
rejected by a Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen and
righly so," NCP general secretary DP Tripathi said.
Congress expressed its readiness to consider all
sensitive inputs over the issue while making a plea not to
dismiss decisions on such issues off hand.
"This is certainly not the last word. All positive and
sensitive inputs can be looked into...every constructive
positive element of civil society is entitled to give a
positive input. There is no question of taking sensitive
"There can be bonafide differences of opinion but they
should put their views before the Plannning Commission," party
spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.