Farooq, Babbar regret meal remarks

NEW DELHI, July 26: After triggering controversy, Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar and Union minister Farooq Abdullah today expressed regrets over their respective remarks that one can have food for Rs 12 and Re one.
Babbar’s regret came after the Congress distanced itself from his remarks as also those of another party colleague Rashid Masood that meals could be had for Rs 5 in Delhi.
His party pleaded that the matter should now be treated as closed.
“He (Babbar) has issued a categoric statement expressing regret. So we should leave the matter there,” Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told a press conference here.
Congress’ Communication Department in-charge Ajay Maken said, “We do not agree with Rs 12 and Rs 5 statement of some leaders.”
The meal remarks made by Babbar earned widespread ridicule with parties dubbing these as “absurd”, “foolish” and “illogical”.
Abdullah, who had said, “the question is that you can fill your stomach by spending Re 1 and cannot fill it even with Rs 100. The question is what you want to eat…,” today issued a statement saying his statement on poverty figures issued by the Planning Commission have been taken out of context.
He also expressed “regret” if his statement caused any hurt.
“My comments on the cost of a meal in the media have been taken out of context but I realise that what I said may be misconstrued. I regret any hurt this may have caused,” Abdullah, whose party is an ally of the ruling UPA said.
Abdullah’s comment prompted CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat to suggest that such a scheme be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.
“If this is correct, then why not implement it in J and K where there is autonomy,” Karat said at a press conference when asked to comment on the remarks of Abdullah as also Raj Babbar and Rashid Masood.
Karat was also critical of the poverty estimates brought out by the Government and wondered “how can the poor live on just Rs 27.”
“The Congress is trying to project that it is all milk and honey in the country,” he added. (PTI)


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