By Sandeep Moudgal
Indicating at a possible shortfall of rice for the launch of the Congress poll guarantee of 10 kilos rice per BPL card holder, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said the state government had approached Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh for the purpose of procuring additional 2.238 MT ton but appears to have failed to convince two of the three states.
“While Telangana refused to provide Karnataka government rice for the purpose of our scheme, Andhra Pradesh remains indifferent and has not committed to provide us the cereal. But Chhattisgarh has agreed to provide partial relief,” said the CM.
Siddaramaiah said the Chhattisgarh Congress government agreed to provide the state with 1.5 MT from its current stock and has said it cannot give any further.
“Even in the case of Chattisgarh, the rates are slightly on the higher side but we are exploring more options,” said Siddaramaiah.
When asked as to why the state government is not exploring deals with local farmers to provide the rice, the CM said the prices are quite steep.
“Tell me where I will get the rice in Karnataka? The only place where the cereal is being grown, in Raichur, the rates are at Rs 55 per kilo. The FCI would provide us with rice at Rs 36 per kilo, including Rs 2.5 towards transportation,” said the CM.
Earlier, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the central government and reiterated his allegations that the centre is playing politics in Anna Bhagya.
“The scheme is for poor people and the centre is playing politics by adding newer orders to deny the poor the rice. While they are continuing to provide the 5 kilos of rice under NFSA, the FCI is not giving the Karnataka government an additional 5 kilos per person for our scheme,” he said.
Siddaramaiah, adding he will be unable to meet prime minister Narendra Modi when he goes to Delhi on June 21.
“We had sought time with the PM but he will not be in the station on that day. Maybe, next time when I go to Delhi, I will meet him,” he said.
This article has been republished from The Times of India