As the International Monetary Fund praised India’s direct benefit transfer scheme as a logistical marvel, a war of words began between the BJP and the Congress after Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted that both Aadhaar and DBT was launched by the UPA government. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri slammed the claim and said this way the Congress will one day claim credit for Covid vaccines, Kartavya Path and the new Parliament building. Law minister Kiren Rijiju said Chidambaram’s statement shows the “anti-poor mindset” of the Congress. Read | ‘A logistical marvel’: IMF hails India’s direct cash transfer scheme

“Before the BJP rushes to claim credit for DBT and Aadhaar, please recall when they were introduced and by which government. Aadhaar was launched on 28-1-2009. DBT was introduced on 1-1-2013. Both by the UPA government,” Chidambaram tweeted.

DBT gained momentum after PM Modi’s Digital India push, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said terming it ironic that the Congress is now claiming credit in the success of the scheme. “There was a time, known for policy paralysis & lack of self-belief, when many from within Congress raised doubts on Aadhaar. They termed it ‘brazen’ in 2017 & a ‘conundrum’ in 2018. But now they want a share in success that has come in the wake of its effective implementation!” Puri tweeted sharing screenshots of Congress’s old tweet against Aadhaar becoming mandatory.

“DBTs were brought in to beat the malpractices put in place by previous regime,” Puri tweeted adding that one day the Congress will want credit for Covid vaccine, Kartavya Path and also the new Parliament building. They spread fear and canards against these, the minister added.

Kiren Rijiju countered Chidambaram’s claim and said PM Modi’s Sabka Saath’ led success of DBT. The opening of Jan Dhan accounts ensured that money goes to the people who need it. “This shows the Congress’ anti-poor mindset. They name schemes after one family but never work for people’s benefit,” Rijiju tweeted.

Union minister Bhupender Yadav posted an old video of Chidambaram questioning whether digital transactions would help a vegetable vendor. “Surprising how the same man who stood in Parliament to mock Digital India has the audacity today to claim credit for DBT and Aadhaar because IMF praised the moves,” Yadav said.

Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF, Paolo Mauro, recently hailed India’s implementation of DBT and other similar social welfare programmes and said it is quite impressive given the size of the country.

By Shadab

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