Hyderabad: Opposition parties Congress, Telugu Desam, Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a walkout from the Telangana Legislative Assembly today protesting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government's stand on the ration cards issue.
The Opposition parties lambasted the government for "creating a confusion" among people on the cards issue. "People are totally confused. They fear they may lose their ration cards. The government should come clear on continuation of white ration cards in particular," BJP member Chintala Ramachandra Reddy, who raised the issue during Question Hour, said.
He wondered why the government was seeking fresh details from ration card applicants when a Comprehensive Household Survey was already done. "Private persons are sitting in ration cards and collecting details from people. They are also collecting money illicitly," Chintala added.
Telugu Desam Party floor leader Errabilli Dayakar Rao questioned why the government was planning to cancel existing
ration cards without issuing new ones. BJP floor leader K Laxman pointed out that government hospitals were not accepting white ration cards for treatment of patients under Aarogya Sri Health Insurance scheme.
Finance Minister Etela Rajender, who also holds the Civil Supplies portfolio, said there was no move to remove any
ration cards. Moreover, the government would issue new ration cards soon. "The government has been receiving applications for issue of new ration cards.
The process of verification is in progress and once it is completed, new cards will be issued," the Minister said. Existing cards holders would continue to get ration supplies till new cards were issued.
Besides, the government has also decided to do away with ceiling on supply of rice on white cards and each person
in the family would be given 6-kg of rice. He also said there was no link between white ration cards and Aarogya Sri scheme.
"The government will issue better Aarogya Sri cards while new ration cards will be issued without any link with Aadhar," Rajender added. Not satisfied with the government's response, the Opposition parties staged a walk out from the House.