New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday made a blistering attack at the Centre for allegedly blocking his doorstep delivery of ration scheme in the national capital.

Accusing the Centre of supporting ration mafia, Kejriwal in a virtual press conference said that the doorstep ration delivery scheme should be implemented across India otherwise ration shops will act as "super-spreaders" of the deadly COVID-19 infection.

"We took approval from Centre 5 times for implementation of doorstep ration delivery scheme, why it has been stopped?," the Delhi Chief Minister asked. "Legally, we don't need Centre's approval but we did so to avoid any dispute".

"If pizza, burgers, smartphones and clothes can be delivered at home, then why can't ration be delivered at their doorstep," he further asked in an online briefing.

The Delhi government on Saturday had claimed the doorstep delivery of ration scheme was rejected by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, saying the Centre's approval was not sought and that a litigation was pending in the high court regarding it.

However, L-G sources rejected the Delhi government's claim, calling them "baseless". The sources further said that the Delhi government was "wrongly portraying" that the scheme has been rejected.

Meanwhile, the Centre said in its statement that it has not asked the Delhi government to not to distribute the ration the way they want.

"They can do so under any other scheme. The Government of India will provide additional ration for the same according to notified rates. Where is the issue?"

It's absolutely wrong to say that the Government of India is preventing anyone from doing something, it said.

"In fact, the Government of India (GOI) is ready to grant additional ration to Delhi to distribute it whichever way they want. Why would the GOI deprive the citizens of any welfare scheme of government?"

"Have another scheme. Give it any name. GOI will provide an additional ration. Why insist to disrupt an existing pan-India scheme which is under National Food Security Act?" it said.

The Delhi government had proposed the doorstep ration scheme in July last year, claiming it would benefit 72 lakh poor beneficiaries and end the ration mafia in the national capital. Earlier, the name of the scheme was 'Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana' but it was later changed by the Delhi government on the objection raised by the Centre.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma