Plan panel's definition of poverty a joke: BJP
Bhopal: Slamming the Planning Commission
over its controversial definition of poverty, the BJP has said
the Centre has underestimated the number of people living
below poverty line in the party-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
"The poverty figure is a conspiracy to exclude a large
number of poor people from the ambit of BPL category. We will
not accept it," State BJP President Prabhat Jha said.
Jha termed as a "cruel joke" on the people of the
country, the figures of Rs 32 per day income in urban areas
and Rs 26 per day in rural areas as defining lines for poverty
(the figures were revised downwards last week).
In Madhya Pradesh, the Central government has counted
only 42 lakh BPL citizens whereas more than 76 lakh people are
living below the poverty line in the state, he said.
"It is an attempt by the Centre to deprive a large
number of poor people from getting benefits they are entitled
to under various welfare programmes. We will not tolerate it,"
the BJP leader said.
The BJP will launch a nationwide agitation to expose
"the ulterior motive" of the Congress-led UPA government
behind this move, Jha asserted.
"The final contours of the protest against the
recently announced figures for defining poverty will be put
before the party's State Executive meeting to be held at
Orchha on April 7-8," he said.
Jha said the plan panel was being used as a tool by
the Centre to deprive BPL citizens from certain facilities
they are getting at present.
The panel last week 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.