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Opposition disrupts RS over linking benefits with Aadhaar


The Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Thursday as some opposition members shouted slogans against the Centre’s stance on making the Aadhaar card compulsory for BPL families to receive benefits.

Members of the Trinamool Congress, Left, Janata Dal-United, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) raised the issue soon after the house met.

Ramgopal Yadav of the SP said the central government has asked the states to give subsidies only to those who have an Aadhaar card.

“The Centre has asked states not to give subsidies to those who do not have an Aadhaar card. Forty per cent of the people don’t have an Aadhar card,” Yadav said.

TMC member Derek O’Brien said the Centre is not consulting states on the issue despite talking about cooperative federalism.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member Dilip Kumar Tirkey said: “In Odisha, 20 per cent of people do not have Aadhaar card. This is a important issue.”

Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu rose to respond to the concerns raised by the members, but opposition members started shouting slogans.

Naidu then said the opposition wanted to politicise the issue and did not want a response.

He said Aadhaar card is “not compulsory”.

“We cannot make it compulsory till every one gets it,” Naidu said even though the opposition members continued their protest.

“We raise issues in parliament to get answers. They raised a relevant issue. I don’t think any one has a problem with Direct Benefit Transfer, in case Aadhaar is completed. DBT is the need of the hour; it will eliminate middlemen,” Naidu said.

Opposition members then trooped near the chairman’s podium raising slogans, which Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien called “unjustifiable” after the minister’s response.

In the din, Kurien adjourned the house till 12 noon.

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