New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (August 10) said that ration card holders are being forced to buy the national flag by shopkeepers, accusing the BJP of selling “nationalism” and hurting the self-esteem of the poor.
However, the government has rejected the idea that the poor are being forced to buy flags.
“The tricolor is our pride and lives in the heart of every Indian,” Gandhi said on his Facebook page in Hindi.
“Nationalism can never be sold. It is a shame that Rs 20 is drawn for a tricolor when the poor are given rations,” Gandhi said.
“With the tricolor, the BJP government is attacking the self-esteem of the poor in our country,” he said while sharing a video showing some ration card holders complaining about being forced to pay Rs 20 to buy them. the flag. The wire He could not verify the authenticity of the video himself.
Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi had also alleged that ration card holders are being forced to buy the national flag to avail ration.
He said it would be unfortunate if the 75th Independence Day celebrations were a “burden on the poor”.
In a tweet in Hindi, he said it was “disgraceful” to make the poor pay for ‘tiranga’ and deny them food.
“Thiranga lives in the heart of every Indian,” Varun Gandhi said in the same tweet.
It would be sad if celebrating the 75th Independence Day was the burden of the poor.
Ration card holders are being forced to buy tricolor or their ration share is being cut instead.
It is a shame to collect the tricolor value that resides in the heart of every Indian while taking away the scraps of the poor. pic.twitter.com/pYKZCfGaCV
— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) August 10, 2022
Earlier, reports emerged from Jammu and Kashmir’s Anatnag and Udhampur where officials have ordered shopkeepers and students to pay a ‘deposit fee’ of Rs 20 for the release of the tricolour. Chief Education Officer (CEO) Anantnag has taken down a controversial circular issued to schools in the district asking students and teachers to pay a fee of Rs 20 after the order went viral on social media.
In the same way, named Video From J&K, municipal committee officials of Bibehara town in Anantgag have been threatening advertisements and shopkeepers saying “if they fail to deposit the amount their license may be revoked”.
Opposition parties in UT attacked the local administration. Former Prime Minister and PDP leader Mehboaba Mufti, CPI(M) leader Yusuf Tarigami and others slammed the campaign, saying “patriotism comes naturally and cannot be imposed.”
‘No such instructions have been given’: Govt
However, the government announced that no instruction was given to ban the supply of ration to the ration shop owners for not buying the country’s flag, and action was taken against the ration shop owner’s violation of the order.
“No such directive has been issued by the GOI (Government of India). About 80 million people are getting ration every month without any problem. A wrong ration shop has been banned for violating government orders and misrepresenting facts,” the Public Information Bureau (PIB) tweeted.
After verifying the content of the video, the Union Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs through the state government said that the PDS beneficiary from Dadupur village of Karnal district in Haryana and the owner of the ration shop concerned had misrepresented the facts, a government spokesperson said.
He added that the owner of the ration shop concerned has been suspended for maligning the image of the department by making false statements when such orders were not issued.
All state governments have been told to ensure that PDS supplies are provided to the beneficiaries unconditionally.
The Union government has urged them to hoist or unfurl the national flag from their homes on August 13-15 as part of the ‘Har Gar Tiranga’ programme.
(With inputs from PTI)