80 cr Indians got free ration during Covid pandemic: PM

80 crore Indians got free ration during Covid-19 pandemic: PM Modi

Modi accused the previous governments of keeping the poor away from basic necessities

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government gave top priority to address the problems faced by the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic and had taken steps to provide succour during the most difficult times.

Modi was addressing the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana in Madhya Pradesh who had received free food grains during the pandemic.

The prime minister slammed the previous governments, an apparent reference to Congress regimes, saying they only paid lip service to the poor and continued to deny them benefits such as good roads, pucca houses, bank accounts or clean drinking water.

He accused the previous governments of indulging in hypocrisy by chanting the word “poor” a hundred times in a day but did not make enough efforts to provide succour.

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“We have risen from amongst you and have experienced closely the bitter-sweet moments that you face. Hence, we also work differently to empower you,” Modi said.

He said not only more than 80 crore citizens were getting free ration but more than eight crore poor families also got free gas cylinders during the pandemic.

“Cash transfers to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore were directly made to the Jan-Dhan accounts of more than 20 crore women and thousands of crores of rupees were transferred to the accounts of labourers and farmers,” the prime minister said.

Modi accused the previous governments of keeping the poor away from basic necessities such as good roads, pucca houses or bank accounts.

“They used to wonder why the poor would need good roads, as they need food first. Why would the poor need bank accounts when they have no money,” the prime minister said.

Modi said such questions kept the poor away from basic facilities and became an excuse for not doing anything.