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Updated: July 26, 2013 18:53 IST

Cong. distances itself from meal remarks

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Congress General Secretary and Incharge of Communication Department Ajay Maken addresses the media in New Delhi. File photo: V. Sudershan
The Hindu
Congress General Secretary and Incharge of Communication Department Ajay Maken addresses the media in New Delhi. File photo: V. Sudershan

Put on the back foot, Congress on Friday distanced itself from the remarks by two of its leaders that one could have meals at Rs. 5 and Rs. 12 which have been ridiculed by several parties.

“We do not agree with Rs. 12 & Rs. 5 statement of some leaders,” said Ajay Maken, Congress General Secretary and Incharge of Communication Department.

The meal remarks made by Congress spokesperson Mr. Raj Babbar and another party leader Mr. Rasheed Masood were dubbed as “absurd”, “foolish” and “illogical” by various parties putting the Congress on the defensive.

Mr. Babbar had said that a hearty meal in Mumbai can be bought for Rs. 12, while his party colleague Mr. Masood had claimed that a mere Rs. 5 was sufficient for a meal in Delhi.

Mr. Maken, in a statement, attacked BJP for criticizing the Rs. 33.30 Poverty Line figures of the Planning Commission, saying the opposition party, “should explain why it was Rs. 16.73 in 59th NSSO survey of 2003 and accepted by BJP/NDA Govt?”

“Unlike the BJP NDA, we have de-linked this poverty line from all 150 Central Govt schemes including NREGA, ICDS, MDM, NRHM, SSA, PDS except 1.

“NSSO survey-1993-94 to 2004-05 the average decline in poverty was 0.74%/year. During UPA it accelerated three times to 2.18% pts per year,” Mr. Maken said on twitter.

He instead claimed that during Congress-led UPA, poverty has declined from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 21.9 per cent...a decline from 40.71 crore to 26.93 crore people below the poverty line.

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If even now congress comments, it would be shamelessness at its peak.

from:  Ravi Kumar
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 18:46 IST

Babbar, Khan, Abdullah what happened to them. What kind of insensitive comment about the price of meals. They should talk sensibily at least when it comes to livelihood.

Having said this Amma Unavagam has shown the way to sell (of course subsidising it) at affordable price to poor who appears to be enjoying it and a hit among them. Quoting this newspaper dated May 15, 2013:

Frugal fare at nominal prices, but manna for those living on shoestring budgets: Amma Unavagam, which has proved to be a hit with Chennai residents, will shortly reach nine other cities.
Budget restaurants that serve one-rupee idlis and sell low-cost plates of sambar and curd rice for lunch, will come up in Madurai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tirupur, Tuticorin, Vellore and Erode by the end of this month. These nine municipal corporations will have 10 restaurants each. "

This shows there is a way to help poor. But a price has to be paid. It is important poor are supported and helped in all ways.

from:  laxmiram
Posted on: Jul 27, 2013 at 10:20 IST

It is a big let down to see some of our leaders talk of a full meal at
RS 12/.It is hard to understand what they mean by 'a full meal'.Tomorrow
they may ask Mr. Alluwhalia to set Rs 12/ in place of Rs 33/ as BPL

Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 19:35 IST

Poverty line has been raised now from 16.73 to 33.30 and that can be
accepted.According to statistics the number of people under the poverty
line could decrease but in actual terms we find among our midst lot of
really poor people finding difficulty to get food.The food security
bill brought out by the ministry could give subsidised food but how is
the subsidy accounted for .How is the food procured ? Agricultural
production has to be improved.I take all this as an election stunt

from:  DrAsok Sanker
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 19:30 IST

If politicians cannot get their basic facts right and remain aloof by
not understanding the economics of middle and lower class citizens, they
are simply unfit for politics. This is a clear case of political crisis!

from:  vamsy
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 19:10 IST

This is ridiculous policy of the Congress.How can any political party
disown statement made by spokeperson? The party has habit to make such
statement, if there is controversy, party outrightly distances itself.

from:  A Warhekar
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 18:27 IST

Dear Mr Ajay maken ,

If you keep shifting the base line for poverty ,then the number of
people living below it would obviously decrease. I am sure the number
of people living below the poverty line has come down withing a span
of hours ,when the much educated bureaucrats and inept leaders of the
government decided to make a mockery of the denizens of the country in
closed boardrooms. Its not just wrong but a slap on the face of every
country of this country who thinks he has got education .

aggrieved by UPA ,NDA and Bureaucracy of India ,

from:  abhinavbhaskar
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 17:52 IST

Distancing itself from every malign or degrading thought process of every Minsiter or government servant itself, the government of India has distanced itself from the reality of a common man's life in this country. Please take some corrective action against the wrong-doers and the elite ministers who don't understand the issues of a common man!!!

from:  Ghajabiram Sriramulu
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 16:34 IST
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