Sheila Dixit's Claim of '₹600 per Month to Feed Family of Five' Sparks Controversy

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By Nimisha Nair | December 17, 2012 4:11 AM EST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit's claim that ₹600 per month was enough for a family to feed itself saying that Congress was insulting the poor.

Speaking at the launch of Dilli Annashree Yojna, a cash-for-food programme by Delhi government, Dixit said that that one would get dal, rice and wheat at ₹600 per month. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was also present at Thyagaraja Stadium to launch the scheme when Dixit made the statement.

Taking a dig at Dixit's claim, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Hundred years back, people may be able to meet their needs in 600. But, in the present age when you don't even get a single meal in Rs 600, the Congress is insulting the poor by launching such schemes," CNN-IBN quoted him as saying.

According to reports, the programme that is expected to benefit nearly two lakh families, aims at transferring an amount of ₹600 per month to the Aadhaar linked bank accounts of the senior most woman member of a poor family.

A sum of ₹200 crore had reportedly been allotted for the Annashree Yojna by the Delhi government. "We got a voluntary organization to carry out a study in the target population to see if people wanted cash or ration," The Times of India (TOI) quoted Dixit as saying. "We found that 99% people wanted cash as women felt it would give them the freedom to buy what they need. For instance, some women said they could buy medicines if a family member was ill," she added.

As per the TOI report, while some were disappointed by the scheme others found it a 'support'.

A similar comment by Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia drew wide criticisms across India in 2011. He had said that a person could fund 'food, health and education' with a sum of ₹32 per day in the cities and ₹26 in the villages, reported CNN-IBN.

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