Just a day after we predicted that it may not be too long before someone from the Congress party claims it is possible for the poor in the country to eat without paying a rupee, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah has gone ahead and proved our prediction somewhat true!
The ministersaid Re 1 was enough to survive for a day."If you want, you can fill your stomach in Re 1 or Rs 100, depending on what you want to eat. We are working to change the life of the poor so they can eat well, be healthy and India can progress," Abdullah said at a press conference.
Abdullah's comments come just a day afterCongress spokesperson Raj Babbar claimed it was possible to have a "full meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai", and party MP Rasheed Masood reportedly claimed that in Delhi's Jama Masjid area, one could eat well for Rs 5.
Babbar had told reporters, "People should have full meals two times a day. How one can have it is a very good question that you have asked. Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at Rs 12. No no not bada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed."
In trying to defend the Planning Commission's new poverty line figures, the leaders are coming up with increasingly fantastic claims on how much(or little rather) that they have to spend to get a complete meal.
With claims such as as this, it seems either our politicians are not in touch with reality or food prices have come down drastically for a privileged few in the country.
Earlier, the BJP slammed the UPA government for its statement that the poverty figures have gone down in 2012-13 as opposed to figures in 2002-03.
The Delhi BJP President had even sent a money order of Rs 33 to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh, UPA ChairpersonSonia Gandhiand Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia yesterday challenging the trio to buy a meal for Rs 33 and said that the Congress has changed the definition of poverty ahead of polls.
As per the Planning Commission, the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption.
But, there are questions that the UPA needs to answer. As Vivek Kaul pointed out in this article, the numbers don't justify the Congress party's own social welfare plans.
The Congress led UPA government passed Food Security Ordinance aimed at providing subsidised rice and wheat to nearly 82 crore Indians or 67 percent of the total population.
"This effectively means that the government thinks that 67 percent of the Indian population is poor and cannot afford to buy rice and wheat at market rates. But as per the current poverty line only 21.9 percent of the population is not getting adequate nutrition. So which is the right number? 21.9 percent or 67 percent?"
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 21:18:20 IST