No dearth of money for ‘Anna Bhagya’, in talks with other states for rice: K’taka Minister


New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Amid the ongoing row over the Central government’s alleged move to not sell the rice which is in stock with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the Karnataka government, state Minister KH Muniyappa on Wednesday accused the BJP government of doing politics over the state’s ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme. He said the state has no dearth of money and will provide food to the poor.

Speaking to IANS, Muniyappa said, “The Central government created trouble. The Central government first gave an assurance and on June 13 they denied. They did politics over the rice for the poor.”

Muniyappa, who is the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies in Karnataka, said that his government will ensure procurement of rice from other states and will provide it to the poor people.

“We will try to procure rice from other states. There can be a delay but we will definitely give rice to people. We are in talks with other states and within 10 to 15 days it will be finalised. Even the money is ready,” he said.

To a question whether Karnataka plans to procure rice from the Congress-ruled states of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, he said “They are ready to provide but these states are far so there will be a transportation issue. Even Telangana is ready to give wheat. There are three agencies whom I requested that with full transparency provide rice through tender. This will take 10-15 days.”

When asked if the state government will face any financial issues in providing rice to the poor people, Muniyappa said, “There is no financial problem, there is no issue of money as it is ready. And there is no problem at all.”

Slamming the Central government, the Karnataka Minister said the BJP has betrayed the people of Karnataka. “There is complete betrayal by the Central government. They should not do politics over the food of poor people. We were in the UPA government and I was also Minister in the Central government. We never discriminated on public programmes from the Central government like MGNREGA.”

He said the Congress never betrayed the people but it has been started by the BJP.

“This is a first of its kind, the BJP government and the Prime Minister are not serious about the poor people’s programme. It always sees the corporate people, and waive their loans, it never sees the farmers. They are the ‘anna data’ and produce food for the country. The attitude of this government is not for the poor people, farmers and common people. We will give the rice,” Muniyappa added.

The remarks from the Minister came amid the row over the Central government’s alleged move of not selling the rice which is in stock with the FCI to the Karnataka government.

The ruling Congress in Karnataka has also condemned the Central government’s alleged move of not selling this rice.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that he will meet President Droupadi Murmu and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah maintained that the meetings with President Murmu and Amit Shah would be courtesy calls and he will be meeting them for the first time after becoming the chief minister.

He stated that he will also meet Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Piyush Goyal and discuss the supply of rice to the state.

Talking about the implementation of the Anna Bhagya scheme, Siddaramaiah had stated that the implementation of the scheme could be delayed. The Congress had announced that it would be launched from July 1.

The BJP had announced that if the project is not implemented, it would stage an agitation.


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