Claim on poverty decline a diversionary tactic by UPA: BJP

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VENKAIAHHyderabad, July 28;The UPA government is trying to divert people’s attention away from its failures by claiming that poverty levels had come down, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu has alleged.

“The Planning Commission statement that poverty (levels) have been reduced during the UPA regime from 37.2 to 21.9 per cent is a ploy by the ruling party to divert people’s attention away from the massive failures, particularly on the economic and social front,” Mr. Naidu told reporters in Hyderabad on Sunday.

“All reports, including World Bank studies, reveal that India is far behind in human development indices vis-a-vis Bangladesh, even sometimes Nepal, Sri Lanka and China,” Mr. Naidu said.

“If that is the case, how can the government claim that poverty levels have come down and the people live on Rs 33 per day?” he asked.

The government needs to explain given that the Prime Minister is the Chairman of Planning Commission, he said.

There is a contradiction in the government’s claims when it says that only 21 per cent people are living below poverty line while it aims to provide food security to 67 per cent of the population, he alleged.

“This is cheap propaganda before elections, unfortunately by Planning Commission at the behest of Congress,” Mr. Naidu said.

BJP would forcefully raise the issue in the coming session of Parliament and also seek some amendments to the Food Security Bill.

The party would deliberate on the above bill on the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament, which begins on August five, Mr. Naidu said.

The statements by some Union ministers about the poor being able to live on meagre sums were “stupid”, Mr. Naidu said.

Alleging that the UPA government had been bragging about its achievements, he claimed that the ruling coalition lagged behind NDA in every sphere.

All pre-poll surveys indicated that BJP was on the rise and that the popularity of the party’s poll campaign committee chief and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was soaring, he claimed.

Mr. Naidu also alleged that Congress was trying to defame Mr. Modi, rattled by his growing popularity.

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