Politics over disbursement through public distribution system (PDS) has already begun in Maharashtra, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of not ensuring foodgrain being delivered to the needy. The Congress slammed the Opposition for suggesting distribution based on Aadhaar.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had on Sunday demanded that Aadhaar be used to give away foodgrain. State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Monday questioned as to whether Mr. Fadnavis himself wanted to be a beneficiary of PDS, meant for the poor, by demanding Aadhaar instead of ration card.
The Central government on March 26 decided to give an additional five kg of foodgrain. But the said letter reached the Food Corporation of India (FCI) on March 30. Maharashtra has yet not received food from FCI. Despite that, the State has started distributing free foodgrain from its quota without waiting for the Centre, Mr. Sawant said.
He said the Centre in its order mentioned that only beneficiaries under the Food Security Act would be supplied with the said grains. The BJP is purposely lying and confusing the people by saying everyone with a ration card will get free supply, he said, adding at a time when there are restrictions on movement and transport of goods, the State government has supplied ration to 33% (2.24 crore) beneficiaries.
Mr. Sawant said supplying ration on Aadhaar would mean that those like Mr. Fadnavis might even become eligible. Is that what he wants?
According to the data from States Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection Department, Maharashtra has 52,424 ration shops and the number of beneficiaries is over seven crore.
BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye claimed that the Central government had already supplied 90% of the free foodgrain to the State and despite that Maharashtra was not delivering it to people. Mr. Sawant rubbished the claim, clarifying the State was yet to receive the supply.