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‘Bogus’ beneficiaries to get atta-dal again 

Jalandhar: With Akalis threatening a protest over deletion of names under the Atta-Dal scheme and the government fearing that the issue may snowball into a controversy before the Shahkot bypoll, it has taken a U-turn on the matter.The names of the 86,563 beneficiaries, weeded out earlier, are now back on the list in Jalandhar.These names were deleted after a major exercise for verification of beneficiaries and door-to-door survey by the Food and Civil Supplies Department.The department has decided to undo the deletions and resume supplies till re-verification is done.There had been a lot of resentment from the beneficiaries whose names were deleted, which the Opposition parties had been cashing on.The SAD leaders were also planning a protest with affected persons in Shahkot, where 7,000 beneficiaries had been denied the ration.Sensing the intensity of the problem in the wake of the pending elections, the government chose to give relief to the entire district.Confirming the orders, District Food and Civil Supplies Controller, Jalandhar, TS Chopra said, “We have begun adding the names of the beneficiaries in the system that had been struck off earlier after the verification. It is being done for entire Jalandhar.”Director, Food and Civil Supplies, Anindita Mitra, said, “We got a representation from the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner saying there had been lot of objections related to deletion of names of beneficiaries.”He said a fresh verification was required to be done which could take time and till then the old list should be followed for distribution. There was a similar plea from a subdivision of Fazilka too. They okayed both.Terming it a political stunt, Akali leaders said, “How can the government reject the verification report of its own officials? If it feels that verification was not proper and the exercise was a waste of time, money and effort, then action should be taken against these officials for submitting a wrong report.”Akali spokesperson Pawan Tinu said, “The state government got a whiff of our protest in Shahkot on the issue. That is why they chose a mode of appeasement and have undone the deletions for entire Jalandhar. They could not do it for Shahkot alone or else there would have been complaints.”

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