People from various districts of Karnataka gathered at Anand Rao Circle here on Friday to protest against the Government's policies on right to food.

“Setting limits like ‘Rs. 20 expenditure per day in urban areas and Rs. 15 in rural areas' is exclusionary and is a disgrace to democratic policy-making. It is essential that we have a universal public distribution system as that causes minimum leakage; experience in Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh have proven this,” said Geetha Menon of Stree Jagruti Samiti.

The protest coincided with the visit here of Deputy Chairman of the Plan panel Montek Singh Ahluwalia.Commenting on the cash transfer model, a pilot project of which has already been implemented in Delhi, Clifton D Rozario, State adviser to Supreme Court Commissioner on Right to Food, said: “The commission is ignoring an important aspect of PDS: farmers have some sort of security that if all fails, the government will procure their grain. The examples of Brazil and Mexico being quoted use cash transfer to supplement their PDS not to replace it.”

The Right to Food campaigners staged a symbolic march to the Janata Dal (S) office where the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy promised them support.

A delegation spoke to Dr. Ahluwalia and submitted demands for a reorientation of the Plan to fulfil its original mission of ensuring social justice as well as the universalisation of the PDS.

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