NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating that the Delhi government is ready to make whatever changes the Centre wants in the doorstep delivery of ration scheme.
He requested permission for implementing the scheme that he claimed was stonewalled by the Centre days before its launch.
“People have been made to queue up for ration by the governments in the last 75 years. Sir, let not remain in ration queues for the next 75 years. They will never forgive me or you,” Kejriwal wrote.
The Delhi government even changed the name of the scheme by dropping 'Mukhya Mantri' and addressed other objections and yet it was said that Centre's approval was not sought and the scheme was rejected, Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also reminded the PM that the AAP government had supported the Centre on various occasions for the national interest.
“I have supported you in all your work in the national interest. I have always said that there should not be any politics when it comes to the national interest. You should also support us in this... this is a matter of national interest. We are ready to make any changes in the ration delivery plan that the Centre needs” the CM said in the letter.
Kejriwal said although the Delhi government was not legally bound, yet it sought the Centre’s approval five times to avoid any dispute.
“Food minister of Delhi Imran Hussain through letters on February 4, 2019, March 4, 2020, June 17, 2020, November 19, 2020, and December 3, 2020, informed the central government that Delhi government is going to implement Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna. No objection was raised on this from your side even once,” he said.
Last week, the AAP government claimed that L-G “rejected” its doorstep delivery of ration scheme citing lack of Centre’s approval and a pending case in the high court.
According to the government, the scheme would benefit 72 lakh people.
"We are ready to make whatever changes the central government wants in this scheme. Kindly permission be give to us deliver ration to the doorstep of people," he wrote.
The Union Food & Public Distribution Ministry on Saturday said that it has not asked Delhi government to distribute the ration the way they want .
"They can do so under any other Scheme. Government of India will provide additional ration for the same. As per notified rates. Where is the issue?" the ministry had said.
The Delhi government wants to "tinker with" the nationally administered programme at the cost of Delhi consumers by charging cost of milling etc from them.
Government of India had only informed them about the rule position, it had claimed further.
It has been said that Delhi can start its own scheme separately without "tinkering" with Centre's scheme, Kejriwal said in the letter.
"Sir, when were we separate? Will now there be two schemes in a state on the same issue - one by Centre and the other by state? Does this mean the Central government and Delhi government each will spend Rs 2000 crore on ration distribution? Sir, will be a prudent thing to do?" Kejriwal asked Modi.
He asserted the ration belonged to the people and not to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister or BJP and Aam Aadmi Party.
People are asking if pizza, burger and smart phones can be home delivered, why cannot ration be delivered at doorsteps of poor, he asked.
Claiming the doorstep delivery of ration scheme would end ration mafia, Kejriwal said it was very powerful and well connected and got the scheme rejected days before its launch.
There should be no politics over any work of national interest, he said, requesting the prime minister to give the green signal.
(With PTI Inputs)