"We do not agree with the criteria fixed for poverty... poverty should not be decided in terms of calories and money to purchase food but on the basis of the right to live respectfully," Kumar said.

The JD-U leader termed as "cruel joke" the latest poverty figures that put anyone earning more than Rs 32 a day in urban areas and Rs 27 per day in rural areas above poverty line.

On Congress leader Rashid Masood's assertion that one can have food in Jama Masjid area in Rs 5 and Raj Babbar saying that one can have proper meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai, Kumar said these are "hilarious" examples. "In Delhi, people get free food in langar (community kitchens) in gurudwaras and there is no need to spend any money on food there. Can we say food is served free," he said.

The Bihar Chief Minister disagreed with the estimate that the number of people living below the poverty line has shrunk to 21.9 percent in 2011-12 from 37.2 percent in 2004-05. "In Bihar, the number of poor is much more than this estimate," he said.


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