Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken umbrage at the decision of the Food Commissioner to cancel 2.93 lakh ration cards in the city. Kejriwal termed this move as deliberate and an intentional act of defiance.
Terming it "insensitive" on part of the officers, Kejriwal said decision was taken despite strong objections raised by Food Minister Imran Hussian. "With this decision poor people are being denied their rights," , an official statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
Attacking the Central Government once again, Kejriwal said this act of defiance appears to be a conspiracy to deny ration to the poor people and is a clear, deliberate and intentional violation at the behest of the Central government.
"Since these officers do not report to the elected government, therefore they are working against the interests of the people of Delhi, which is a very serious matter," Kejriwal said.
Citing Mandawali deaths of three children, Kejriwal said that all such families and members in one go would be rendered hungry because of the insensitive, apathetic, hostile, inhuman attitude of the officers.
"It would cause tremendous hardship and could also prove to be fatal to human lives, a situation which no responsible government can afford to let occur," the chief minister stated.
Raising objection to canceling ration cards, he said that what was required was a verification exercise. That should have first been undertaken among the ration card holders who did not turn up during the first three months of this year (January to March 2018).
"If during such verification, any card was not found to be not genuine, only then the card should have been cancelled after giving an opportunity to the card holder to explain his position, according to rules and existing laws," Kejriwal said clarifying the reason not to cancel cards.
"Why bureaucrats did not inform the elected government before taking this step", Kejriwal asked. "Inspite of complaints of serious nature as mentioned above having been forwarded, officers neither reverted back with action taken reports nor took any corrective steps. Wherever they reverted back, the action taken reports have been found to be sketchy, incomplete, misleading or indicating imposition of lenient penalties on the erring FPS owners. Thus, such action taken reports indicate active connivance and patronage by the senior officers of the Department", he said.
"Despite the Food Minister having sought details of ration card holders and beneficiaries whose names were intended to be deleted in his note dated July 26 of this year, no information and details have been provided to him till date, said Kejriwal.
" It has been informed that the cancellation process has been undertaken without door-to -door survey of households. The cancellation is being done by officers sitting in their offices without any field inspection and without following due process of law. Such acts of commission or omission make the acts of public servants suspicious. Their conduct may invite disciplinary action against the concerned officers", the chief minister warned.>