The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday charged the Union government with trying to “suppress the number of poor” in the country.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said by defining the benchmark for poverty in urban areas as Rs. 965 a month and Rs. 781 in rural India, the Centre had betrayed the “aam aadmi (common man). It showed a “bankruptcy of ideas” and an “abject failure of anti-poverty programmes.”

He was referring to an affidavit filed on Tuesday before the Supreme Court by the Planning Commission that said a per capita income of just Rs. 25 a day was adequate to cover expenditure on food, education and health.

Mr. Javadekar said that even if one were to take the affidavit at face value, it did not take into consideration expenses on shelter or on transport. “This is the worst insult inflicted on the poor.”

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