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The Gujarat Congress demanded the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi here today, for allegedly manipulating numbers related to the Below Poverty Line (BPL).
State Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia today highlighted the difference in figures released by the state government.
"On one hand, Gujarat's food and civil supplies department says that there are 24.3 lakh BPL families in the state, while, on the other hand, the state's health department in its advertisements put the families constituting the BPL category at 38 lakh," he said, adding that BJP should demand Narendra Modi's resignation for the rise in number of poor, during his rule.
Gujarat's food and civil supplies department stated that those earning Rs 10.80 or below per day in rural areas and those earning Rs 16.70 or below per day in urban areas make up the BPL category.
A press statement issued by the department said that a person living in rural area with a monthly income of Rs 324 and a person living in urban area with a monthly income of Rs 501 would be included in BPL category as this would benefit 24.3 lakh families and give them benefits.
Reacting to a media report which claimed that the state had come up with new criteria for identification of BPL families, the FCS Secretary R P Gupta said they had merely reiterated the guidelines issued by the Centre in 2004.
Modhwadia said that the BPL category should be withdrawn, adding that according to this measurement index, the number of poor people in Gujarat comes to 38 lakh.
"The Gujarat government has been totally unsuccessful in reducing the number of poor people and increasing their incomes during its 18-years' rule," he said.
"At a time when the number of poor people is rising in Gujarat and their incomes are steadily dwindling, figures show that development claims made by the Gujarat government are hollow," the former MLA from Porbandar said.
He stated that the gap between the rich and the poor is only widening in Gujarat, and that the BJP's pro-industrialist policy had resulted in a rise in number of