BJP today charged the government with making a mockery of the poor with its latest figures stating that BPL population has decreased and said this has been done to cover less people under the Food Security Act.
"Central government has come out with new figures about people below the poverty line which brings out some new facts as well. It proves that the government defines poverty as per its whims and fancy. It increases the number of the poor or decreases it as and when it wants," BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters.
The Planning Commission had stated that the number of BPL population now stands at 21.9 per cent.
"The government does not have the funds that would be required to be spent on providing foodgrains when the Food Security Bill is passed so it is decreasing the number of poor," Joshi said, adding that by doing so the government would have to fend for less people under the Act.
He said that with the Centre maintaining there are very less number of people Below the Poverty Line the burden would fall on the state governments when the Food Bill is passed.
"By reducing the number of those below the poverty line the funds needed under the Food Security Act will be reduced," Joshi said, adding that the Centre will conveniently tell the state concerned that it has more people below the poverty line and hence it should bear the rest of the expenditure.
"We charge the government with making a mockery of the plight of the poor people and with misleading them," he said.
Joshi alleged that no scientific method has been adopted by the government in arriving at the new poverty figures and these are far from the truth.
"The government is playing a dangerous game of increasing the burden on the people. This seems to be part of a well thought-out plan," he said.
BJP also hit out at Congress for claiming that one can have a proper meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai and Rs 5 in Delhi.
"We will give Rs 12 to the Congress leaders and let them show us how they can have one meal with it," Joshi said, adding, "Hope it is not e-food?"
The BJP leader maintained that a poor wage earner gets around Rs 20 per day and it would be impossible for him to spend Rs 24