LG has ‘blocked’ doorstep ration, AAP tells voters
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.