Hashtag Politics | Congress, BJP spar over who gets credit for Aadhaar and DBT

A day after the IMF praised India’s Aadhaar and Direct Benefit Transfer programmes, the BJP and the Congress sparred over who would credit for the schemes. While former finance minister P Chidambaram lashed out at the ruling party by saying that “both schemes were launched by the UPA”, the BJP said “the success of the schemes came in the wake of effective implementation (by the BJP)”.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Chidamabaram said both schemes were launched by the UPA government in 2009. He said, “IMF official praised India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme as a logistical marvel. He also praised the innovative use of Aadhaar…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”.

IMF के अधिकारी ने भारत की प्रत्यक्ष लाभ हस्तांतरण (DBT) योजना को एक लॉजिस्टिक चमत्कार के रूप में सराहा है।

उन्होंने ‘आधार’ के अभिनव उपयोग की भी प्रशंसा की है।

— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) October 14, 2022

The BJP rushed to hit out at Chidambaram’s statement.

BJP leader and Union minister Bhupender Yadav posted a video of an Chidambaram speech in Parliament in which he appeared to question the Narendra Modi government on digital transactions.

“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.

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. https://t.co/gh6M43izTo pic.twitter.com/SirITGdp01

— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) October 14, 2022

In his speech, the former finance minister can be seen asking how traders in village fairs are expected to have PoS (Point of Sale) machines and internet connection to receive payments for the sale of potatoes and tomatoes.

Yadav went on to add: “The single biggest reason for the success of DBT scheme is the opening of bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana of the Narendra Modi government. Over 45 crore accounts have been opened as of April 2022 under the scheme empowering the same poor who your government deliberately wanted to keep poor.”

“Will the former, out on bail, FM, ‘honestly’ tell who deserves credit after looking at some stats,” party’s IT-head Amit Malviya asked and claimed that “between 2013-14: 43 districts (were) covered and Rs 28 crore paid through DBT” and that between “2014-22: Over 750 districts (were) covered and Rs 25,66,000 crore paid through DBT”.

Saying that merely “introducing” a mechanism isn’t enough,” he added: “Truly transparent and honest approach of the Modi government led to the introduction of JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Bank Accounts, Aadhar, Mobile), Aadhaar Payments Bridge, expansion of NPCI/UPI, Digital India Mission caused the DBT and Payments Revolution in India which has earned the praise of all.

Saying that “There was a time…when many from within Congress raised doubts on Aadhaar.” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “They (Congress) 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!”

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said Aadhaar was based on “Atalji (former PM Atal Vajpayee)’s original idea of a National ID program”.

He added: “Under PC – 1000s of crs of were spent, WITHOUT any law – to create a fake-ridden& unverified database – even Pak Terrorists n Illegal immigrants got Aadhaar ID”.

India’s deployment of a direct cash transfer scheme and other similar social welfare programmes is a “logical marvel”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.

“From India, there is a lot to learn. There is a lot to learn from some other examples around the world. We have examples from pretty much every continent and every level of income. If I look at the case of India, it is actually quite impressive,” Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF, told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

(With inputs from PTI)