Pictures of a ration card with Jesus Christ printed on it have gone viral on social media, with users claiming that the photos have surfaced from East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. The government released an official statement in response to the outburst that followed after the pictures had gone viral.
In an official statement, the state government claimed that the ration dealer’s husband identifies himself as a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supporter from Vadlamuru village. He had allegedly printed picture of Jesus Christ on the ration card and intentionally prompted propaganda. The official statement said that the dealer’s husband is a “die-hard TDP fan” and not a converted Christian. The statement concluded that the officials of the civil supplies department would take disciplinary action against the misconduct.
According to the civil supplies department, the dealer in East Godavari district was found to have printed different images on ration cards over the years. “Previously, in 2016 the same person had printed Sai Baba’s picture on the ration cards, Lord Balaji’s photo in 2017 and 2018, and Jesus Christ picture in 2019,” the official government statement said.
The ration card system in Andhra Pradesh is digitised and provided based on Aadhar Card identification. When the previous government was in power, the ration cards featured the beneficiary’s details along with former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s photo on them. They were laminated for security against tampering. The designs for the current ration cards are yet to be finalised, as the government is conducting surveys across the state to identify the families in need of the government-subsidized rations.