‘Siddaramaiah has shown his commitment to the poor by launching Anna Bhagya scheme’

“With the notification of the National Food Security Ordinance, India has joined the group of welfare States where every citizen is assured of an adequate amount of food,” N. Dharam Singh, MP, said here on Wednesday.

He said that the benefits of the ordinance would reach 82 per cent of the country’s population.

Mr. Singh was speaking at the launch of the Anna Bhagya scheme under which below poverty line (BPL) families will get 30 kg of rice a month at Re. 1 a kg.

‘Now a reality’

The Anna Bhagya scheme was part of the Congress’s Assembly poll manifesto. “By turning it into a reality, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had demonstrated his commitment to empowering the poor,” Mr. Singh said. Reacting to BJP leader and MLC Raghunath Malkapure’s decision to boycott the launch, demanding that above poverty line (APL) families be given subsidised foodgrains, Mr. Singh said it was a publicity stunt.

“Why didn’t the BJP implement such schemes when it was in power? In fact, they damaged the public distribution system further by deleting eligible beneficiaries and stopping supply of foodgrains to APL families,” Mr. Singh alleged.

‘No empty stomachs’

Sharan Prakash Patil, Medical Education Minister and district in-charge, said the programme would ensure that no one in the State would go to sleep on an empty stomach.

“There has been a lot of criticism against this scheme. I would like to say only one thing to the people opposing the scheme, only the poor know what it means to starve,” he said.

He said that while campaigning, several people told him that they were not getting enough foodgrains under the old unit system of distribution. Hence, this scheme was launched, he said.

Beneficiaries

As per the list prepared by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, there are 2,23,664 BPL card holders and 39,748 Antyodaya Anna Yojana card holders.

As many as 2.64 lakh families in the district will be covered under the Anna Bhagya scheme.

Ishwar Khandre, Rajshekar Patil and Mallikarjun Khuba, MLAs, zilla pachayat president Latha Harkude, Chief Executive Officer of the ZP Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh, Deputy Commissioner P.C Jaffer were present

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