Srinagar: Snubbing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Give It Up' campaign, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has applied for LPG subsidy, attracting much criticism from his rivals.
Abdullah, the president of main opposition National Conference, has submitted a form for non-Aadhar based LPG subsidy transfer with Super Gas Sevice at Durga Nag, a distributor of HP Gas, on August 14 this year, an official of the gas agency said.
During the Lok Sabha elections last year, he had declared an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh and assets worth over Rs 13 crore. He lost that election, marking his first electoral loss in his 35-year political career. Attempts to seek Abdullah's comment on the issue could not fructify as his staff said he is "busy in a meeting".
Ruling PDP spokesman Waheedur Rehman Parra criticised Abdullah for seeking LPG subsidy despite his "huge assets".
"He (Abdullah) thinks he is a Prince. His family has amassed huge assets and yet he is seeking subsidy. If he is so poor, we offer him free gas supply for six years," Parra said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been appealing for months that the well-off people should give up LPG subsidy so that benefits could be diverted to the needy poor people. Responding that appeal earlier, Abdullah had said in July that it should be left to the conscience of the MPs whether or not they want to give up the LPG subsidy.
Asked whether he had given up his LPG subsidy, he had said, "Don't worry about me. I will do whatever I have to."
Consumers are currently entitled to twelve 14.2 kg cylinders in a year at subsidised rates. A subsidised 14.2 kg cylinder is currently available at Rs 417 in Delhi.
Market priced LPG is available at Rs 625.50 per 14.2 kg cylinder.
Giving up subsidised LPG will help cut government's subsidy bill which was at Rs 36,580 crore on the fuel last fiscal year.
(With inputs from PTI)