The Meghalaya BJP on Wednesday said distribution of free food grains for five months till November under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is meant for all poor families.

The state BJP said the PMGKAY scheme, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is not only for the families who possess ration cards as stated by Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong.

The state BJP alleged that free distribution of foodgrain in the last few months has reached only to some selected people especially in Garo Hills, and urged chief minister Conrad K Sangma to intervene into the matter.

The PM on June 30 announced distribution of free rice under PMGKAY for another five months till November with an additional estimated outlay of Rs 90,000 crore which will benefit 8 crore Indians.

Under this scheme, poor families will get rice 5 kg and one kg chana free of cost for five months from July to November.

Speaking to media persons at the BJP office on Wednesday, Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie thanked the NDA government for providing free ration to the poor families in the country now for five months and last time, for three months from April to June.

Mawrie said the statement of deputy chief minister Tynsong was wrong to say that only families that have ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will benefit from this scheme.

“This scheme will benefit 8 crore Indians including poor families in our state, not only the families that have ration cards. The BJP government understands that the poor are the most affected people and we also thank all honest tax payers of the state and the whole country for this,” Mawrie said.

On households in the state that did not have ration cards and may not get free rice under this scheme, the state BJP president said all poor families will benefit from this scheme, and the block development officers (BDOs) are having the list of families who have no ration cards.

Earlier, deputy chief minister Tynsong said the state government welcomed the decision of the Centre to continue distributing free food grains to the poor people of the country including Meghalaya till November.

He said only around 21.49 lakh beneficiaries under NFSA and 7.60 lakh non-NFSA beneficiaries in the state will be benefited through the relief package announced by the Centre.

According to Tynsong, the beneficiaries are as per the 2011 socio-economic census, and families that do not have ration cards are not entitled to benefit from this package announced by the Centre.

Mawrie informed that his party has received numerous complaints especially from the people in Garo Hills that free rice distributed in the last three months has reached only to some selected people.

The BJP president urged chief minister Sangma to ensure fair distribution of free rice to the beneficiaries and they should not be deprived of the central government scheme.

“We have informed our central leaders and I also had a talk with Union food minister Ram Vilas Paswan about the discrepancies in the distribution of free rice to the people,” Mawrie said.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya BJP president alleged that farmers in Meghalaya have not benefited much from the PM Kissan scheme that the Central government has given Rs 6000 per year for each farmer by crediting the amount into their bank account.

“Our farmers find it difficult to register with the government because officials are not supporting those who want to avail this scheme,” Mawrie said.

He said the state BJP has decided to assist the farmers and urged all farmers who face difficulty to contact the BJP functionaries in different areas.

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