Stalin asks TN govt to not opt for ration card portability scheme

Chennai: Opposing the Centre’s ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative, DMK chief M K Stalin on Wednesday said the Tamilnadu government must not opt for the scheme “endangering,” the public distribution system in vogue for long ‘and compromising’ on the State’s rights.

Claiming that State Cooperative Minister Sellur Raju has said Tamilnadu would join the ration card portability scheme, Stalin, who has been opposing the initiative, condemned the stand of the State government. A suspicion has risen that the governments led by the BJP at Centre and AIADMK in Tamilnadu have forged a “deceitful coalition to deprive” ordinary citizens from getting essential commodities at a reasonable price, he alleged in a statement here.

Accusing the AIADMK government of doing a somersault by first opposing and later implementing the Food Security Bill, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly alleged that it was now ready to shut down the universal PDS in vogue for a long time by joining the Centre’s one nation one ration card scheme.

Batting for eliciting the views of the 1.99 crore ration card holders and general public, he said: “By compromising on the state’s rights and endangering the (universal) public distribution system, the Tamil Nadu government must for sure not opt for the one nation one ration card scheme.”

As part of its aim to implement ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ across the country by June 1, 2020, the Centre had last month launched inter-state portability of ration card between Telangana-Andhra Pradesh as well as Maharashtra-Gujarat. This means beneficiaries living in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can buy their quota of ration from the Public Distribution System (PDS), also called ration shops, in either of the state. Similar would be the case in Maharasthra and Gujarat.