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Modi BPL cut-off under fire

New Delhi, Feb. 3: The Congress today asked Narendra Modi to “apologise” for a Gujarat government circular that says those earning Rs 10.80 or less a day in rural areas and Rs 16.70 or less in urban areas would be considered to be below the poverty line.

The BJP said it was an old guideline issued to states by the Centre in 2004 and the Congress was just retaliating for the attack on the UPA government when the Planning Commission’s figure of Rs 32 had triggered a row.

Sources said the Congress charge was aimed at exposing the BJP’s duplicity, with the rivals seizing on the slightest opportunity to embarrass the other ahead of elections.

“What is the fuss they made when the Planning Commission released figures of Rs 32 (for the urban cut-off for poverty)? We always said these benchmarks are not indicators of poverty but are used for deciding welfare schemes,” P. Chidambaram said.

The tentative cut-off for rural areas was Rs 26.