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BJP pulls up PM over revising poverty line

March 20, 2012 - New Delhi

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh after the Central Government reduced the controversial poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country.

"They have converted the name of starvation line to poverty line because it is beyond the imagination of the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman that what is poverty," said BJP spokesperson S. S. Ahluwalia.

"If they really want to see poverty, they should go and travel and see the market prices," he added.

Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal termed decision of the Planning Commission to be a joke, and said it was highly insensitive of the ruling government to set such a shocking bracket.

"I think it's absolutely shocking and absurd and goes to show that how cut off this government is from reality and not only that, I think it's a cruel joke on the poor people. Today even if you give a beggar less than 10 rupees even he looks at you in shock," said Badal.

" So, imagine saying that a person earning 22 rupees is not poor, I would like to know what any of these ministers, even if their daily bread must be costing more than 22 rupees on how many they eat in a day that they think the common man, who earns 22 is not poor," she added.

The Planning Commission released the latest poverty estimates on Monday, saying that poverty in the country has declined by 7.3 percent from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 29.8 percent in 2009-10.

According to the report, the total number of poor in the country has been estimated at 34.47 crore in 2009-10, as against 40.72 crore in 2004-05.


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