Cong defends poverty line: Raj Babbar can have meal for Rs 12, Masood for Rs 5

Trying to defend the Planning Commission's new poverty line figures, Congress leaders are coming up with increasingly fantastic claims on how much(or little rather) that they have to spend to get a complete meal.

While Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar claimed it was possible to have "full meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai", party MP Rasheed Masood reportedly claimed that in Delhi's Jama Masjid area, one could eat well for Rs 5.

 Cong defends poverty line: Raj Babbar can have meal for Rs 12, Masood for Rs 5

Raj Babbar. Image: ibnlive

The Congress spokesperson 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."

Babbar's remarks came in the backdrop of the BJP slamming 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 Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and 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 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.

"It is plain dishonest to claim that only 22 percent of India now lives below the poverty (compared to 39 percent in 2004) line, when the poverty line threshold of an approximate per capita daily consumption worth Rs 33 per day has been confined to the dustbin", said this Firstpost article analysing the poverty numbers.

With Congress' claims such as this, it may not be too long before someone claims it is possible for the poor in the country to eat without paying a rupee!

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Updated Date: Jul 25, 2013 15:55:01 IST