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‘Will Use Indira Canteen as Election Pitch’: Karnataka Congress Accuses BJP of ‘Destroying’ Scheme

Last Updated: February 23, 2023, 12:37 IST

The Karnataka government's Indira Canteen food subsidy scheme was inspired by Tamil Nadu's Amma Canteens. The year 2017 saw the launch of the flagship initiative by the Congress government in Karnataka. (File Photo)

The Karnataka government’s Indira Canteen food subsidy scheme was inspired by Tamil Nadu’s Amma Canteens. The year 2017 saw the launch of the flagship initiative by the Congress government in Karnataka. (File Photo)

Congress MLA from Bengaluru’s Shivajinagar Rizwan Arshad alleged that it is sad the BJP government has denied giving food to poor by not allocating funds for the canteen

Karnataka Elections 2023

Ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, the opposition Congress is kicking up a storm over the Indira Canteen issue, alleging that the BJP government is intentionally not allocating funds for the scheme.

“Not only this, but all programmes of the Congress have stopped. This canteen was for people’s welfare but was stopped. We will take this as an election pitch. When we come to power, we’ll ensure that all canteens operate,” said UT Khader, Congress MLA.

Another Congress MLA from Bengaluru’s Shivajinagar Rizwan Arshad alleged that it is sad that the BJP government has denied giving food to poor by not allocating funds for the canteen. The Congress leader said the party will come back to power and ensure that Indira Canteens operate in the state to feed the poor.

“The canteens were made by the Congress to feed the poor but the BJP destroyed the scheme. No doubt, we will take this as an election pitch and take it to the people about the failure of the government and deliberately not allocating money for the canteens,” said Arshad.

Karnataka education minister BC Nagesh alleged that the footfall of Indira Canteens is less and the money that is made by them is allegedly being misused. He also said since the Congress has no better plans, they want to raise this issue for the election.

“Since the Congress doesn’t have anything in their pockets, they have to open such things. People have come to know what the purpose of Indira Canteen is. There’s misuse of money in every canteen,” said Nagesh.

The minister also stressed that the BJP government “can’t spend people’s money as we like”.

The Karnataka government’s Indira Canteen food subsidy scheme was inspired by Tamil Nadu’s Amma Canteens. The year 2017 saw the launch of the flagship initiative by the Congress government in Karnataka.

In 2018, when the BJP came to power after the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress coalition government broke, there was speculation that the Indira Canteens will be renamed or even be closed. Then Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced that the project would stay. But the Congress continues to allege that instead of immediate closure, the BJP has been slowly shutting down these canteens.

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