Centre not allowing Delhi govt's flagship doorstep ration delivery scheme: AAP

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) The AAP accused the Centre on Friday of not allowing the Delhi government's flagship doorstep ration delivery scheme, days before its scheduled rollout.

Addressing a press conference, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that the Centre has written to the Delhi government, asking it to stop the rollout of the scheme.

'It is deeply saddening that the Centre has asked the Delhi government to stop the Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana, scheduled to be launched on March 25. I would like to appeal to the Centre that it need not interfere in matters of the Delhi government,' he said.

Bhardwaj said the Centre's letter to the Delhi government asking it to withdraw a social welfare scheme days before its launch is 'astounding and rather unfortunate'.

'The Centre must immediately withdraw this direction and allow the Delhi government to launch the Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana,' he said.

The AAP leader further said the Delhi government has not taken a single penny from the Centre to implement the scheme.

'The scheme prevents rampant corruption. Why should the Centre take any umbrage at all?' he asked.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to launch the scheme with doorstep delivery of ration to 100 households in Seemapuri on March 25.

The Centre's letter comes days after the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to give overarching powers to the Lieutenant Governor, was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Refuting the allegation, Delhi BJP general secretary Harsh Malhotra and spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor, in a joint statement, said the Centre has not stopped the city government to launch the doorstep ration delivery scheme and that Bhardwaj has tried to mislead people on the issue.

The letter cited by Bhardwaj, while 'dramatically saying that the Centre has stopped us' from launching the scheme, nowhere says that the Delhi government cannot launch any such scheme, they said.

The Centre has only clarified that it issues foodgrains and cereals to all states, including Delhi, for distribution among the poor under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the statement by the BJP leaders said.

Under the NFSA, the foodgrains issued to the states cannot be used for any state government's local, populist schemes, they pointed out.

The Centre's letter only says that the NFSA ration for free distribution is a nationwide process and the Delhi government is free to buy ration and distribute it among the citizens under any political, populist scheme, they said. PTI UZM/VIT RC