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Free ration to poor for 5 more yrs: Modi

At Chhattisgarh poll rally, attacks Congress for trying to divide poor through caste census

Free ration to poor for 5 more yrs: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted at a BJP rally in Durg ahead of the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, November 4

In a mega sop on the eve of five-state elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the free ration scheme for the poor would be extended for five years with food security guarantees for 80 crore underprivileged families to continue.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana that commenced in April 2020 at the height of Covid pandemic provides 5kg foodgrains to 80 crore poor people.

Addressing a rally in Durg, Chhattisgarh, the Prime Minister said poverty was the biggest caste and warned people against the “Congress conspiracy to divide the poor through new gimmicks” (read the caste census).

Flagging 13.5 crore people coming out of poverty in five years of BJP’s “pro-poor” rule, the PM said the Congress wanted the poor to continue begging for alms. The Congress hated self-confident poor people, the PM said, seeking to blunt its focus on caste census, which is emerging as a major poll issue across election-going states and beyond.

“In the war against poverty alleviation, the poor are uniting as a single caste and have transformed into Modi’s army to battle penury... This unity is troubling some people and political parties are hatching new conspiracies to spread casteist venom and break the unity of poor people. We have to foil these attempts and together defeat poverty,” the PM warned with even non-Congress states such as Andhra Pradesh and Odisha announcing a caste census.

Modi was speaking at an election rally in Durg where out of six Assembly seats, the Congress holds five, including Patan that CM Baghel represents. The BJP has fielded CM’s distant nephew and Durg MP Vijay Baghel in Patan. The PM further sought to woo OBCs today saying the Congress was constantly engaged in “abusing India’s only backward PM”.

“The OBCs will not forgive the Congress for heaping abuses on backwards,” Modi said, in a veiled attack on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his “why do all thieves have Modi surname” remark which led to his conviction by a Surat court.

Urging people to choose between “BJP’s all-inclusive manifesto for farmers, women and youth and Congress bunch of lies”, the PM said, “The Congress is busy filling its coffers by plundering the poor. It fed poverty for decades despite giving ‘garibi hatao’ slogan.”

The Prime Minister said BJP government had prioritised the poor in governance and urged people to trust him.

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#Caste census #Chhattisgarh #Congress #Narendra Modi


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