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.