GUWAHATI, April 1 - Principal opposition Congress party today alleged that the Government of Assam is adopting a partisan attitude in selection of beneficiaries for the economic packages announced recently by the Central and State governments to help the economically weaker sections tide over the crisis brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora alleged that leaders of the ruling BJP are adopting discriminatory tactics while selecting the list of beneficiaries.
�... I have no alternative except to seek your intervention for providing justice to the poor needy people of Assam and as a public representative I am duty bound to place before you the voices of the millions of poor people of Assam (about) the way they are going to be deprived and discriminated by the BJP leaders in getting the benefits of the economic packages recently announced by the Central and State government,� said Bora, who is also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
He alleged that BJP leaders at the block level are preparing the beneficiary lists at the instructions of local BJP MLAs and ministers without any written guideline from the government �visiting house to house in villages by violating the lockdown and norms of social distancing�.
�While preparing the lists... it is noticed that they deliberately excluded Congress party workers and sympathisers and the persons who do not belong to BJP. This has created panic and strong resentment across Assam. In some places some unscrupulous BJP workers demanded money from the poor people for including their names in the beneficiary list,� stated Bora.
He said people have failed to comprehend why the lists are being prepared when the government has a clear policy of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the bank account of the beneficiaries.
If any lists are to be prepared of beneficiaries not covered under BPL list, Food Security Ration Card or Jandhan Yojana Scheme, then the department concerned and the gram sabha of the panchayats are to be involved. �But without doing all these the preparation of lists by BJP workers for various schemes by excluding poor and needy people only on political consideration is nothing but an act of political vendetta, partisan manner (sic) and social injustice,� said Bora in his letter to the Prime Minister.
He said that at this time of global crisis and pandemic all must unite and speak in one voice cutting across party lines. But in Assam BJP workers are not going to respect this principle, he rued. �Therefore, I urge upon you to intervene into this matter and direct the Assam government to desist from preparing beneficiary lists for different schemes... by discriminating and depriving the poor needy people on political consideration. We demand that the benefits of the schemes must reach all needy and deserving people and should be distributed in a most transparent way,� stated the State Congress chief.