"The urban poverty level definition would not be sufficient to buy even one kg of decent variety of rice in the open market today," CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Observing that national poverty line was estimated by Planning Commission at Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages per day per person, he said, "Anyone spending more than this amount not only on food but on consumption of all goods and services is not poor! There cannot be a more absurd and inhuman definition of being a non-poor person."

Maintaining that UPA government was carrying out an "exercise of deceit" before elections to show that the poor had benefited during its tenure, he said, "The manner in which this has been done only reconfirms an age-old English adage - there are lies, damned lies and statistics."

In an editorial in the CPI-M organ 'People's Democracy', Yechury said these poverty lines were "not merely an absurdity but make a mockery of the life and death struggles to survive that the vast mass of our people are engaged with today."


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