Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s elder brother Prahlad Modi on Monday threatened that all fair price shopkeepers would go on an indefinite strike from May 28 if the Gujarat Government did not concede to their demand for higher commissions. “We are thinking of resigning en masse and launching a non-violent protest,” Prahlad Modi, who is the president of Gujarat State Fair Price Shop and Kerosene License Holders Association, said in a letter to State Food and Civil Supplies Principal Secretary Sangita Singh.
A copy of the letter has been sent to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Chief Seretary J.N. Singh.
Asked for how long would they continue the agitation, Prahlad Modi told IANS: “If they (Gujarat government) do not listen, then for life.”
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Gujarat has an estimated 1.2 crore ration card holders registered with the state government. These include beneficiaries under BPL and Antyodaya schemes. Of the total, 65 lakh card holders come under the purview of National Food Securities Act, while 55 lakh have been declared void. These beneficiaries are served by around 900 fair shops across the state.
“The state has been seeking suggestions to help increase operating commission for fair price shop owners but it is their duty to see how the commission can be improved,” Prahlad Modi said in the letter.
“Through this letter we seek to inform the government that after 20 days, the fair price shop owners and kerosene dealers would stay away from distributing goods under PDS system and the responsibility of the situation arising out of this will rest with the state government.”