Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured him to speak to the concerned Union minister over the issue of supply of rice to the state from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Speaking to reporters at the Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, Siddaramaiah said that he had requested Amit Shah “not to play politics or carry out politics of hatred with regards to the supply of rice to the poor in Karnataka”.
“The matter of FCI giving a commitment letter to supply rice and the act of cancelling it the very next day has been brought to his notice. Amit Shah has assured that he would speak to the concerned minister,” Siddaramaiah stated.
Siddaramaiah also said that the state has been provided with two battalions of Indian Reserve Police (IRP) and it has been requested to provide two more battalions.
The Chief Minister also discussed how the policy of the central government was affecting the poor masses and told Amit Shah that the policy of the Centre was against the Food Security Act and it will directly impact the poor
Siddaramaiah had earlier charged that the Centre was carrying out politics in connection with the free rice distribution scheme. “It was agreed to provide 2,08,425 metric tonnes of rice to Karnataka. But, they have written a letter on June 13 saying that the states can’t be provided wheat and rice under the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS). The central government has taken a political decision deciding not to give rice for Karnataka state only to bring bad name to the Congress government,” Siddaramaiah had said.
“The centre is carrying out a conspiracy to ensure that the free rice scheme is not implemented in the state,” Siddaramaiah had charged.
The Congress government in Karnataka is planning to provide 10 kg free rice to all BPL card holders’ families under the Anna Bhagya scheme. It announced the launch of the scheme on July 1. However, due to non-availability of rice, the government is maintaining that the launch of the scheme would be delayed. The issue has taken a political turn as Congress is accusing the Centre of playing politics and BJP warning that if the scheme is not launched on July 1, it is going to protest.