“If pizza, burger can be delivered at home, why not ration”: CM Arvind Kejriwal asks Centre

Last Updated: Monday, 7 June 2021 (13:21 IST)

New Delhi:Addressing a digital press conference on Sunday, Chief Minister Shri questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government on the reasons behind rejecting the doorstep delivery of the ration scheme initiated by the Delhi government. He put forth some compelling points to vindicate the reasons given by the centre. He said that for the last 75 years, poor people of this country have been victims of the ration mafia. He requested the PM to not stop the scheme as it is in the national interest and has been launched for the welfare of the people.
 
Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal appealed to PM Shri Narendra Modi to lift blockade on Door step Delivery of ration scheme. He stated that Delhi’s Doorstep Delivery of Ration Scheme was about to begin next week and all arrangements had been made to do so. However, just two days before this revolutionary scheme was to be launched, it was nipped in the bud. 
 
The CM made a compelling point and asked that if people can get of pizza then why can't poor people get home delivery of ration. CM Shri Kejriwal said that for the last 75 years, the poor of this country have been victimised by the ration mafia, they have been made to stand in long queues. He urged the centre to not stop the Doorstep Delivery of Ration Scheme. Vindicating the Delhi government’s stance Shri Kejriwal added that it has sought the Central Government’s approval five times and had accepted all the suggestions of the Centre and removed the words ‘Mukhya Mantri’ from the scheme, but even then the centre is raising objections. 
 
CM Shri Kejriwal added that the central government has said that the scheme is being stopped due to a court case involving ration shopkeepers in the High Court, but neither has the HC stayed the scheme, nor has the Centre had put forward any objection in court. 
 
The revolutionary Door-to-door ration delivery scheme of the Delhi Government was about to start in Delhi from next week. If implemented, ration beneficiaries under the scheme would have received 4 kg wheat flour (atta), 1 kg rice and sugar per person at their convenience of their homes, as against the current provision of 4 kg wheat, 1 kg rice and sugar from fair price shops. The new scheme would have enabled a person to get wheat flour (atta) instead of wheat. All the ration would have been delivered to the doorstep of the beneficiary in hygienically packaged form thereby cutting several trips for a common man to the ration shop and local miller. 
 
The scheme has been stalled by the Central Government just days before it was to be launched. The Delhi Government had completed all the procedures required for implementing the scheme from filing tenders, issuing work orders, planning the entire delivery mechanism, etc. 
 
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “If Pizza can be home delivered, burgers can be home delivered, smartphones and clothes can also be home-delivered, then why should ration not be delivered to the houses of the poor? The entire country wants to know why did you reject the scheme?”
 
Vindicating the No-approval stance of the centre
 
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal crystallized that the centre’s stance of us not taking the approval from them is baseless, as the Delhi government has been writing multiple letters stating that the scheme is going to be implemented. The CM clarified that the Delhi government had taken the approval not once by five times, in spite of no such legal obligations of the Delhi government to do so. Shri Kejriwal added that in the face of repeated objections thrown our way by the centre, the Delhi government adhered to all the demands of the centre. Shri Kejriwal cited the example of the centre objecting to the previous name of the scheme “Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana”. On this, addressing the PM, he said, “You had objected that we cannot name this scheme after the Chief Minister's name. Our goal was not to make our name shine. Anyhow this scheme should be implemented and the poor should start getting their ration. We accepted your point and removed the name of the scheme itself. We accepted all the objections you made. After all this, you say that we did not take your approval?  How else to get approval, sir? Even after that, you rejected this scheme? Why sir?.”
 
The scheme has been stalled on the pretext that  the ration shopkeepers have filed a case against this scheme in the Delhi High Court, seeking a stay order. But, the High Court refused to grant them a stay. The CM questioned the centre on these grounds and stated that if the judiciary did not find anything wrong with this scheme, how can the central government do so. The CM reiterated that if the centre continues to stand with the people who are responsible for this ration mafia, then how will the seventy lakh poor people of Delhi be supported? The CM substantiated by saying that during this case in HC, the centre did not state any problems with the scheme, but soon after stepping out of the court it was rejected. Shri Kejriwal questioned the reason behind this. 
 
Door to Door Ration: CMs Dream to Build A Mafia-free Ration distribution system
 
CM Shri Kejriwal then went on to narrate his experience when he took a resolution to struve and work for the poor and put an end to this ration mafia by all means. He added, "For the last 75 years, the poor people of this country have been victims of the ration mafia. For the past 75 years, every month, ration in the name of the public is issued in the files, but they do not get it, most of it is stolen. This ration mafia is very powerful. Seventeen years ago I dared to challenge this mafia. Back then, I used to work in an NGO in the slums of Delhi. The poor in those slums did not get their ration. Their ration was stolen. Back then we had dared to get the poor people their ration. As a result, we were attacked seven times. Once these people slit the throat of one of our sisters. But by the grace of God, she was saved at that time. Then I swore that I would fix this system at some point in my life. At that time, I did not even think in my dreams that one day I will become the CM of Delhi. But it is said that when you make a resolution selflessly, then the one above also fulfils your resolution in its way. All the powers of this universe help you," he added.
 
Further citing the fraudulent powers of the ration mafia and the fact that no government in the past 75 years had ever thought of breaking it, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "It is said that the connections of this ration mafia are very high. In the 75 years till date, no government has dared to end this mafia. For the first time, a government has come to Delhi which has shown this courage. If this house-to-house ration system was implemented, then the ration mafia would have ended. But look how powerful this ration mafia turned out to be. This plan was to be implemented in Delhi from next week and a week ago, they got it rejected."
 
He said, "This is a tough time due to the Coronavirus. I know a lot of people who are not going out to buy rations due to the situation. They are sacred of overcrowding at ration shops. Many people lost their jobs, lost their earnings during the Coronavirus period. They do not have any food at home to eat. If we are to deliver ration at their homes so why are you objecting to it? All the experts are saying that the third wave is about to come and will harm a lot of children. If their parents get infected with the virus at the ration shops, then the children may also get infected. I think in Delhi and even elsewhere this scheme of door-to-door delivery of ration should be implemented, it will also help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. These shops are super spreaders. The overcrowding at ration shops will be avoided. Some so many elderly people cannot go to the ration shops to buy ration and some so many pregnant women cannot reach the ration shops. If we deliver ration to their homes, then what is the problem in it?”
 
CM proves that other Narratives of the Centre False
 
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that some officers of the central government say that the real reason for rejecting this scheme is because it is the ration by the central government and that the Delhi government cannot take the credit by implementing this scheme. Upon this, the CM  stated, “Believe me, sir, I am not doing this work for even the slightest credit. I have only one aim, somehow the poor should get their full ration. Please let me implement this, and all credit will be given to you. All credit will be given to you. I will tell the whole world that this scheme was implemented by the Prime Minister."
 
Ration is of the people Not any Political Party
 
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "This ration is neither mine nor yours. It is not of the BJP or Aam Aadmi Party. This ration belongs to the people of this country, bought with their tax money.  It is both my responsibility and your responsibility to distribute this ration to the people without theft. the country is going through a very serious crisis at this time. This is the time to help each other by coming together. This is not the time to fight with each other. People have started feeling that the Central government is fighting the most. The Central government is fighting Mamata Didi,  it is fighting with the Jharkhand government it is fighting with the Lakshadweep people, the Central government is fighting with the Maharashtra government, it is fighting with Delhi, it is fighting with the farmers. People have started saying openly that the Central government is fighting the most. Why are you fighting us?  We are all yours, we are all Indians Sir if we fight amongst ourselves like this then how will we win from the Coronavirus? We should not fight amongst ourselves, we all have to fight against Coronavirus together.”
 
He said, "Tomorrow, everyone would like to read this headline of newspapers and would like to see this breaking news on TV channels - Modi Ji and the Delhi government delivered ration to every poor of Delhi. People want to read this news; people want to hear this news. People do not want to hear that the central government again quarrelled with the Delhi government, the central government halted such a good plan of the Delhi government."
 
CM's Humble appeal to the centre
 
"With folded hands, I request you on behalf of the seven million poor people of Delhi, please do not stop this scheme, it is in the national interest. Let it happen. I have supported you in all matters of national interest. I have always said that there should be no politics in any work of national interest. If the government of any opposition party also does any work in the national interest, then we will always support it. Please support us in this work of national interest. Till now the governments have kept the poor people of the country standing in the lines of ration for 75 years. Don't make them stand in ration lines for the next 75 years, otherwise, these people will not forgive us,” added the CM.