Free rice scheme: Cong blaming Centre nothing but farce, says K’taka BJP

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Free rice scheme: Cong blaming Centre nothing but farce, says K’taka BJP

Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP on Thursday flayed the ruling Congress for accusing the Centre of creating obstacles in the way of procuring rice from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for implementing the Anna Bhagya scheme under which 10 kilograms of rice would be distributed free to the poor.

Addressing a press conference former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai slammed the Congress government and warned that if the free rice scheme is not implemented by July, the BJP would launch a protest in the state.

“The state government has continued the dhoka series. The statements of CM Siddaramaiah blaming the central government is nothing but a betrayal of the people,” he said.

They have not kept the word given to the BPL cardholders and the poor. Siddaramaiah has stated that the central government is bringing politics into the free rice distribution scheme. But, the Centre has been providing free 5 kilograms of rice to all states under the Food Security Act,” Bommai said.

Along with the cost of rice, the Centre is also bearing the expenses of the transportation which will come up to Rs 3 per kilogram. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claims that his government is giving 10 kilograms of rice, but it includes five kilograms of rice given by the central government, Bommai claimed.

In December, one kilogram of rice was cut and we had purchased the additional rice for distribution. It is clearly noted in the files that when the stock is over, the purchase should be made through central good reserves and outside agencies, he stated.

“When it is your turn to provide free rice, you are misleading the people and want to blame the central government. Anna Bhagya is an important scheme of the Congress party. Why did the CM not write the letter directly to the central government? He (CM) could have spoken to the union minister directly. You could have floated a tender and found parallel means,” Bommai questioned.

Without doing any of these, blaming the central government is not tenable. The state government must make a purchase of the rice from outside agencies or transfer the amount to the accounts of the people. Otherwise, people think that they are betrayed, he stated.

Bommai reiterated that if rice is not provided, the agitation would be launched. If the Congress government was serious about the implementation of the scheme, it should have spoken to the centre. You have been wasting time in getting publicity. The centre will decide after taking the future situation into consideration. The decision was taken against the backdrop of a lack of rainfall and to ensure there is no good shortage.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday had accused the Centre of carrying out politics in connection with the free rice distribution scheme. “We are requesting the Chhattisgarh state government to supply rice,” he stated.

Addressing the reporters in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that the Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) deputy manager has informed that there is seven lakh tonne rice stock. In spite of the stock, why is the centre not supplying rice? BJP leaders are anti-poor. To bring a bad name to the Congress government they are resorting to all these tactics, he said.

“We had a discussion with the FCI’s deputy manager. He had assured the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K.H. Muniyappa and us to supply rice. He had also written a letter on June 12 and promised to supply rice with consent from the centre. After this development, the central government has taken a political decision,” CM Siddaramaiah alleged.

It was agreed to provide 2,08,425 metric tonnes of rice to Karnataka. But, they have written a letter on June 13 saying that the states can’t be provided wheat and rice under the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS). The central government has taken a political decision deciding not to give rice to Karnataka state only to bring a bad name to the Congress government, Siddaramaiah had charged.

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