New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday dubbed as an "insult
and betrayal" of the poor the Planning Commission report that
said a person earning up to Rs 32 per day in urban and Rs 25
in rural areas is not entitled to BPL benefits.
"BJP strongly condemns the government affidavit in the
Supreme Court deciding the number of poor people living below
the poverty line. This is an insult to the poor, who are
suffering because of raging inflation and corruption," party
spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
The opposition alleged that though the government has
been talking about a Food Security Bill, it was not serious
about fighting poverty and was running away from its
The government had said in the affidavit that the
revised benchmark for fixing those falling into 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 (at Rs 25 per day) is the criteria fixed for BPL.
"This is a betrayal of the poor and is akin to rubbing
salt on their wounds.... We would like to know which is that
Congress shop where you get such cheap foodgrains (to survive
with such low income). Which shop gives grains which would
provide the mandatory 2100 calories required by a person,"
The BJP also pointed out that the need for shelter by a
person has not been taken into account while deciding this
"Does government want everybody to be on the footpath?
This is the worst insult inflicted upon the poor. The
economist PM has failed to manage inflation and give justice
to the poor," Javadekar said.
BJP threw a challenge to the government to discuss
with it the affidavit at any forum.
"The government is changing the goal post.... Instead
of bringing the poor above the poverty line, it has chosen a
way to disregard the facts and suppress the number of the
poor. This is not removal of poverty but derecognizing the
poor itself. The BJP will protest this anti-poor stand of the
Congress-led UPA government at all available forums,"
He further alleged that this was total abdication of
duties and declaration of bankruptcy by the government.
"It is bankruptcy of ideas and an affidavit is a
testimony of abject failure of anti-poverty programmes,"
The opposition maintained that Rs 32 per day amounts
to less than a dollar a day and argued that the poor still go
hungry in this country and remain undernourished.