The party is expected to send a delegation — likely to include its vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and in-charge of poll-bound Gujarat Balbir Punj — to the Election Commission Friday to try to convince it that the move is a violation of the model code of conduct, sources said.
On Thursday, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the Centre for rushing to announce the rollout of the scheme without doing proper groundwork.
“This is a step taken in hurry. The government has also bypassed Parliament while making announcements regarding what it calls a game changer. There are several questions that need to be answered by the government on this move,” Prasad told a press conference.
Prasad also objected to the government’s effort to rope in Rahul Gandhi to push the project. “Ministers announced at Congress headquarters that Rahul Gandhi will monitor it. In what capacity will Rahul Gandhi do the monitoring. He does not hold any official position,” he said.
Pointing out that there are deficiencies in the list of below poverty line families — as is widely accepted — Prasad feared that deserving people would be excluded from the cash transfer project. “The government has also bypassed state governments in this case,” he added.
Prasad said a committee of Yashwant Sinha and Venkaiah Naidu will draft a “policy paper” for the BJP on this issue, but asserted that “if the cash transfer scheme means destruction of the PDS, the BJP will strongly oppose it”.