Congress to double grain allotment under food security act


PTI, May 16, 2024, 3:30 PM IST

The Congress on Thursday claimed that the BJP is ”spreading lies” about food rations in India and asserted that what Karnataka has accomplished through its 10 kg free rice guarantee scheme of ‘Anna Bhagya’ will now be implemented across the country by an INDIA bloc government.

The party’s assertion came a day after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced that if the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is voted to power, it will double the quantity of free rations provided by the BJP government to the poor.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said once again, ”The PM and the BJP are spreading lies about food rations in India”.

”This is the real ‘chronology’ of recent events: The National Food Security Act, passed in September 2013 by the Manmohan Singh Government, provided grains for 80 crore Indians (based on 2011 Census). It was opposed in writing by only one CM: the-then CM of Gujarat. As PM, Mr. Narendra Modi did nothing to implement the National Food Security Act, 2013,” Ramesh claimed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prime minister suddenly realised the importance of our social welfare systems, he said.

”He (Modi) then did what he does best: rebranded the National Food Security Act, 2013 as the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), and marketed it as a ‘free ration’ scheme,” Ramesh said.

He argued that by not conducting the decadal census that was scheduled for 2021, the Modi government has denied benefits to at least 14 crore Indians.

In fact, the Census has still not been conducted, three years after it was due, Ramesh said.

”After being decisively rejected by the people of Karnataka during the Assembly elections in May 2023, the outgoing PM took his revenge on Kannadigas by sabotaging the Congress’s Anna Bhagya 10kg free rice guarantee. But the Congress state government stood up to him and is implementing Anna Bhagya robustly across the state,” he said.

On Wednesday, in Lucknow, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge guaranteed that what Karnataka has accomplished through ‘Anna Bhagya’ will now be implemented across the country by the INDIA Janbandhan government, once it gets the peoples mandate on June 4, he said.

”We will double the current allotment of grain that each individual is entitled to under the National Food Security Act/Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana,” Ramesh said and shared Kharge’s remarks from Wednesday’s press conference.

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