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Finances of Indira Canteen to be probed: Yediyurappa

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on August 28, 2019

Siddaramaiah says BJP destroying pro-poor schemes of Cong, warns govt of backlash

Indira Canteen, the State government subsidised eateries and Congress’ pet project in Karnataka now faces an uncertain future as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to review and drastically cut budgetary resources.

In Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike jurisdiction there are 174 Indira Canteens and 15 mobile canteens. Indira Canteens serve around 60 lakh people a month with the State government bearing about ₹7 crore.

After nearly four years of operations, the ruling BJP alleged that there has been misuse of subsidy by operators of Indira Canteens.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday clarified that Indira Canteen would not be closed or renamed. “But we will be initiating a detailed inquiry into the finances and review the functioning of Indira Canteen. At the moment disbursal of subsidy has been suspended,” he added.

Earlier in the day, fearing BJP government would order closure of Indira Canteens, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, warned the BJP government of backlash if they were closed.

Siddaramaiah, in a series of tweets, said “Mr@BSYBJP, Is your tummy so full that you are ignorant about poor man's hunger? Or Does your party cater to only elites’ appetite? We shall never tolerate any attempt to axe down Indira Canteen.”

Alleging BJP of destroying pro-poor schemes of Congress, he said “@BJP4Karnataka govt is on a spree to downsize or destroy pro-people schemes & policies. It was Anna Bhagya then & Indira Canteen now. The decision on Anna Bhagya was withdrawn after our threat against any such move. Our stand on Indira Canteen will not be any different.”

Explaining the merit of the scheme, he said “More than 3 lakh meals are served each day in BBMP limits alone. A programme that has alleviated hunger of many marginalised sections who are the victims of social & economic injustices. Any attempt to target the Canteens will worsen Urban Poverty & poor families' livelihood.”

Siddaramaiah, defending the pro-urban poor scheme and the budget allocated to run the scheme, said “Karnataka govt budget is more than ₹2.3 lakh crore & Is @BSYBJP finding it so difficult to accommodate Indira Canteen programme by providing just ₹300-400 crore? If the needy is not entitled for subsidised food, even the privileged representatives should be denied of subsidies.”

Published on August 28, 2019

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