Free ration leaving people with more food than they can consume: Rajnath Singh

Claiming that the Centre has not done a favour to people by providing them with welfare measures like toilets and pucca houses, Rajnath said BJP people are in politics with the spirit of service.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath SinghFile Photo

KARAKAT: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday claimed that under the free ration scheme, people were getting more foodgrains than they could consume and they ended up selling the surplus in the market.

The former BJP president, who was addressing an election rally in Karakat Lok Sabha constituency of Bihar, also, cited figures to assert that the food inflation rate in the country was “the lowest in the world” and expressed dismay over allegations of price rise.

"Are you not getting five kilogrammes of foodgrains each? I know if there are four members in a family, each is getting a supply of 5 kg and those who are not able to consume it, sell off the surplus," Singh said with a chuckle, breaking into the local dialect Bhojpuri.

Claiming that the central government has not done a favour to people by providing them with welfare measures like toilets and pucca houses, he said BJP people are in politics with the spirit of service.

"There is so much hullabaloo around price rise. I would like to tell you that food inflation in the country is the lowest in the world at 2.91 per cent. In the US, it is 7.79 per cent, 19 per cent in France, 8.5 per cent in Australia, 48 per cent in Pakistan and 21 per cent in Sri Lanka," he said.

The defence minister challenged the Congress and its Bihar ally RJD, to counter him on these facts.

"If there is a mistake, I will admit it since I have never tried to cheat people in my political career," said Singh.

In his nearly 30-minute-long speech, the senior BJP leader mocked the Congress, claiming that it will soon be extinct like dinosaurs, and likened the RJD to a lantern, the party's poll symbol, of which the flame had grown unsteady since “the oil was running dry”.

Singh also showered encomiums on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that India was no longer looked down upon as a weak country under his rule.

"Pakistan does not dare to send terrorists any more. Russia and Ukraine agreed to halt their war to enable safe return of our students stranded there," he said.

The former union home minister also lauded the government for scrapping Article 370 and bringing a law against triple talaq.

"We do not accept any practice that hurts the honour of our sisters and daughters. We act without caring about votes," he said.

Singh also said after the elections, people should look forward to greater welfare measures from the Modi government, and remarked: "People from all social segments, if they are more than 70 years of age, will be made eligible for free medical treatment under Ayushman scheme. You never know, Modi may approve it in the first cabinet meeting itself."

Turning towards Upendra Kushwaha, the Rashtriya Lok Morcha president who is the NDA candidate from Karakat, Singh said, "I am glad that you have been allotted the gas cylinder as the poll symbol because Modi is going to distribute more gas cylinders in his upcoming tenure."

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