LG has ‘blocked’ doorstep ra­tion, AAP tells vot­ers

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - @times­group.com

New Delhi: Af­ter fail­ing to make LG Anil Bai­jal ap­prove the scheme for doorstep de­liv­ery of ra­tion, the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs are reach­ing out to the peo­ple in their con­stituen­cies with the mes­sage that it was the LG who has “blocked” the ser­vice.

Fol­low­ing chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal’s an­nounce­ment in the assem­bly dur­ing the bud­get ses­sion that AAP would take the is­sue to the com­mon peo­ple, the party leg­is­la­tors have started flag­ging the is­sue in pub­lic gath­er­ings be­ing or­gan­ised un­der the ban­ner, ‘Aapka MLA, aapke beech’, at the booth level.

Party sources said the idea was to turn the “re­jec­tion” into an op­por­tu­nity to get votes in the next elec­tions. The ex­er­cise may get a ma­jor boost as Ke­jri­wal him­self is also likely to join this lat­est round of tus­sle be­tween the elected govern­ment and the LG. “Peo­ple are amazed to learn that the govern­ment wants to de­liver the sub­sidised ra­tion at their doorstep in pack­ets for which they cur­rently need to make several vis­its to fair price shops and stand in long queues. Even then they some times don’t get ra­tion if the machi- nes are not able to read their bio­met­ric de­tails,” said Sau­rabh Bharadwaj, the Greater Kailash MLA whose con­stituency has a large num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries. He claimed that peo­ple were dis­ap­pointed to know that the AAP govern­ment was un­able to start the ser­vice be­cause the LG had not ap­proved it.

In Janakpuri’s unau­tho­rised colonies and JJ clus­ters, MLA Ra­jesh Rishi has held four meet­ings in the past one week with ra­tion as the key is­sue. Dur­ing the qu- es­tion-an­swer ses­sion at the be­gin­ning of these meet­ings, many peo­ple com­plained that didn’t get the ra­tion. “They get ex­cited when we say ra­tion can be given at the doorstep the way peo­ple get piz­zas at home,” said Rishi.

Ra­jesh Gupta, an­other MLA, has held several such meet­ings in the Wazir­pur con­stituency that again houses a large num­ber of peo­ple who de­pend on the sub­sidised ra­tion. “Peo­ple want the doorstep de­liv­ery to start as soon as pos­si­ble,” said Gupta.

Once the ques­tion-an­swer ses­sion is over, ev­ery MLA nar­rates the same story of the scheme be­ing “re­jected” by the LG. Al­though Ke­jri­wal has also been blam­ing Bai­jal for block­ing the move, the LG’s of­fice has claimed that Bai­jal has only re­turned the file with an ad­vice that the pro­posal may be re­ferred to the Cen­tre with full de­tails, in­clud­ing all im­ple­men­ta­tion is­sues, be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion is taken. Ac­cord­ing to an es­ti­mate, Delhi has around 19 lakh ra­tion card hold­ers and ra­tion reaches around 72 lakh peo­ple through over 2,000 fair price shops. AAP has a strong vote bank in the unau­tho­rised colonies and JJ clus­ters where most of these ben­e­fi­cia­ries stay.

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