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Do poor come to only Gujarat: Cong slams Modi govt

February 04, 2014 14:11 IST

Amid controversy over the Gujarat government's poverty figures, the Congress on Tuesday took a jibe at the Narendra Modi-led government, questioning if poor people were only migrating to that state.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad was taking potshots at the Gujarat government's stand that poverty in the state has increased in the last 10 years due to arrival of poor from other states.

"Modi's govt says, poverty has increased in the last 10 yrs due to arrival of poor ppl from other states. Are poor ppl coming to Gujarat only?," he said on social networking website Twitter.

The Centre and the Narendra Modi government were at loggerheads on Monday over poverty figures, with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram rejecting Gujarat's income benchmark of Rs 10.80 a day to determine who is poor.

While the Gujarat government said the benchmark was based on the Planning Commission criteria, the Centre disputed this.

"If the implication is that anyone who has an income of Rs 11 or 19 is above the poverty line, (it) has to be rejected," Chidambaram had said. He added that "our case has always been that these benchmarks are for deciding who should be the beneficiary (and) who should not be a beneficiary of a particular programme. These benchmarks are not indicators of poverty."

He also recalled how the Bharatiya Janata Party had made a hue and cry over the Planning Commission's poverty line of Rs 32 a day based on daily consumption and said, "I can't imagine how they can put out a number like 11 and 19. I have to check whether these numbers are derived or derivable from the Planning Commission's numbers."

The Gujarat government, however, insisted that the data is based on criteria that the Centre has not modified in the past 10 years. Gujarat gives rations to an additional 11 lakh families through its own resources, a state government statement had said.

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