K’taka Cong calls protest against Centre over refusal to provide rice.

Amid loggerheads with the Centre over the latter's alleged refusal to provide rice for a free distribution scheme, the Congress government in Karnataka on Friday called for a protest to condemn the move.

Bengaluru: Amid loggerheads with the Centre over the latter’s alleged refusal to provide rice for a free distribution scheme, the Congress government in Karnataka on Friday called for a protest to condemn the move.

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Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said the Food Corporation India (FCI), which had earlier promised to supply the rice, has now written a letter refusing it.

“This is an example of the practising of hate politics by the Central government. BJP has snatched the food of the poor. BJP is a party which indulges in betrayal of poor masses,” he said.

“The FCI had promised to provide 2.28 lakh metric tonnes of rice. They have gone back on their words.

“The Congress party was voted to power by the poor people and the BJP wants to pursue hate towards them. We are being threatened by the Central government and we will fight it. The protest will get attention of the Central government and people towards the issue,” he said.

The Congress party has promised five guarantees. The debate is on whether the party will be able to fulfil these promises.

“We have shown our commitment by giving in-principle consent to all the schemes in the first cabinet meeting,” he said.

When asked about the Chief Minister and cabinet ministers trip to New Delhi, Shivakumar stated that AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge had called them to the national capital on June 21.

“Rahul Gandhi had also invited them. During the tour, the appointment of central ministers are sought. Let the BJP MPs cooperate with the Congress government and help the state to get the rice. We will seek their cooperation over the matter,” he said.

BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi had slammed the Congress government over its allegation and asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to show the FCI’s commitment letter.

Ravi stated that “if not a liar, then he should show the letter by FCI promising rice to Karnataka”.

“Let them stop making false allegations and provide the money to the people, they will buy the rice. The Centre has not sent a letter that they will send the rice so that the Congress government will project it as its scheme and then distribute it to the people.”

The Congress wants to provide 10 kg of rice to every member of a BPL card holder’s family free of cost under the Anna Bhagya scheme.

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had stated that if the free rice is not given by July 1 as promised by the Congress government, the BJP will stage a protest across the state.

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K.H. Muniyappa stated that the state government is contacting the Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh governments to purchase the required amount of rice.

He maintained that the first choice would be to make purchases from Central agencies as the cost will be less.


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