New Delhi: The Delhi government is ready to make whatever changes the Centre wants in the doorstep delivery of ration scheme, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
He requested permission for implementing the scheme that he claimed was stonewalled by the Centre days before its launch.
“People have been made to queue up for ration by the governments in last 75 years. Sir, let not they remain in ration queues for next 75 years. They will never forgive me or you,” Kejriwal wrote.
The AAP government last week claimed Lt Governor “rejected” its doorstep delivery of ration scheme citing lack of Centre’s approval and a pending case in the high court.
Kejriwal said although the Delhi government was not legally bound, yet it sought Centre’s approval five times to avoid any dispute.
“Food minister of Delhi Imran Hussain through letters on February 4, 2019, March 4, 2020, June 17, 2020, November 19, 2020 and December 3, 2020, informed the central government that Delhi government is going to implement Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna. No objection was raised on this from your side even once,” he said.
The Delhi government even changed the name of the scheme by dropping ‘Mukhya Mantri’ and addressed other objections and yet it was said that Centre’s approval was not sought and the scheme was rejected, Kejriwal said.
“We are ready to make whatever changes the central government wants in this scheme. Kindly permission be give to us deliver ration to the doorstep of people,” he wrote.
The Union Food & Public Distribution Ministry on Saturday said that it has not asked Delhi government to distribute the ration the way they want .
“They can do so under any other Scheme. Government of India will provide additional ration for the same. As per notified rates. Where is the issue?” the ministry had said.
The Delhi government wants to “tinker with” the nationally administered programme at the cost of Delhi consumers by charging cost of milling etc from them. Government of India had only informed them about the rule position, it had claimed further.
It has been said that Delhi can start its own scheme separately without “tinkering” with Centre’s scheme, Kejriwal said in the letter.
“Sir, when were we separate? Will now there be two schemes in a state on the same issue – one by Centre and the other by state? Does this mean the Central government and Delhi government each will spend Rs 2000 crore on ration distribution? Sir, will be a prudent thing to do?” Kejriwal asked Modi.
He asserted the ration belonged to the people and not to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister or BJP and Aam Aadmi Party.
People are asking if pizza, burger and smart phones can be home delivered, why cannot ration be delivered at doorsteps of poor, he asked.
Claiming the doorstep delivery of ration scheme would end ration mafia, Kejriwal said it was very powerful and well connected and got the scheme rejected days before its launch.
There should be no politics over any work of national interest, he said, requesting the prime minister to give the green signal.
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