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NEW DELHI (TIP): Either our politicians are not in touch with reality or food prices have come down drastically for a privileged few in the country. A day after Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar said it was possible to have a full meal for Rs12 in Mumbai, his colleague, Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Masood, on July 25 created a stir by claiming one can eat well for Rs 5 in the Jama Masjid area of Delhi.

Almost turning out to be a competition among Congress leaders to quote the minimum possible rate in which one can have a sumptuous meal, UPA ally Farooq Abdullah made an even more frivolous remark, saying Re1 was enough to survive for a day. Masood was defending the Planning Commission’s assessment that anyone who spends more than Rs33.33 a day in urban areas and Rs27.20 a day in rural areas is above the poverty line.

Babbar came up with the Rs12 figure after being told that a thaali at the Congress headquarters costs Rs62. People were quick to dismiss his outrageous statement, pointing out that even a cutting chai costs Rs5 and vada pav Rs10. Restaurant owners in Delhi laughed at Masood’s assertion that one could eat well for Rs5. Mohammd Salman, owner of Mehboob and Zubairi hotels in Nizamuddin Basti, said devotees who wish to feed beggars have to pay Rs20-25 for two rotis and curry. “He must be quoting two-decade-old prices. A roti costs Rs3.

He has no idea of the prices of flour and raw material,” Salman said. Ever since the Planning Commission declared that poverty in the country has fallen to 22 per cent in 2011-12 from 37 per cent in 2004-05, Congress leaders have been lauding the party for its achievements. The government, however, is being asked why is the Food Security Bill touted as a game-changer for 67 per cent people of the country if poverty levels have gone down.

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