Minister does U-turn on BPL cards, says no definite BPL parameters exist

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Bengaluru,Feb 16 (PTI) A day after his statement on Below Poverty Line ration card holders sparked a row, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti on Tuesday did a U-turn, saying there were no definite parameters for BPL and APL card holders over availing benefits.

The minister emphasised that the BJP government in Karnataka headed by B S Yediyurappa was pro-poor and was committed to distributing more BPL cards.

It will continue to give free foodgrains such as Ragi, corn and rice, he added.

Having come under attack from the Congress and the JD(S), Katti told reporters here there were no definite parameters for BPL and APL (Above Poverty Line) and there was no need for anyone to worry as the government has not issued any statement in this regard.

Retracting from his previous statement, the minister said, 'I had only shared the information from Delhi with media. Neither those parameters (motorcycle, TV, fridge and land) were mine, nor the Chief Minister has given any such orders.I am not an irresponsible minister.' However,he did not elaborate.

Stating that his statement did not pertain to the BPL card holders, he said further confusion on the matter was uncalled for.

He said there were no definite parameters to identify the BPL families, Katti said 'I have not issued any order without consulting the Chief Minister.BPLs are BPLs and APLs are APLs.' Katti had on Monday said in Belagavi that those owning components such as motorcycle, TV, fridge and five acres of land are not entitled to hold a BPL card and they have to surrender them to the government by March 31, or else the government will take action.

The opposition Congress and the JD(S) had come down heavily on Katti and the BJP government calling it anti-poor and anti-people. PTI GMS BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR