New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday hit out at the
government and the Planning Commission for its claim that the
number of people living below the poverty line has fallen,
alleging that the Manmohan Singh regime has lowered the daily
income level and appears to be setting a "starvation line".
Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia told
reporters that his party had earlier reacted to the Planning
Commission report submitted to the Supreme Court on the BPL
"We want the government to tell us how a person can
live with Rs 32 per day in urban areas and Rs 26 per day in
rural areas. Now they have lowered the criteria further,"
The Planning Commission had yesterday released data to
show that poverty had significantly declined between 2004-05
and 2009-10 after it lowered the income criteria for defining
poor from the previous Rs 32 per day mark to Rs 29.
"I don`t know which line they are drawing. Whether it
is the starvation line or the poverty line. It is beyond the
imagination of the Prime Minister and the Planning Commission
to know how a person can survive on such a low income,"
The BJP maintained that for a person to live a life of
dignity and to meet his needs of clothing, food, medical
facilities and the like, the amount of Rs 29 is too less.
"The children in this country are dying of malnutrition.
Arjun Sengupta Committee had said 80 per cent of the people in
the country are below the poverty line. I don`t know from
where this government is getting its data. It is virtually
making starvation line the poverty line," he said.