Cong Govt's Flagship Indira Canteen In Bengaluru May Face Closure

Politics

The Congress government’s flagship project, Indira Canteen, could face closure as the BBM claims that no funds are being released by the state government.

Written By Pooja Prasanna | Mumbai | Updated On:
Congress

The Congress government’s flagship project, Indira Canteen, could face closure as the BBMP claims that no funds are being released by the state government, despite multiple letters. Indira Canteen, the inauguration of the first of which was done by Rahul Gandhi,  was one of the pet projects of former CM Siddaramiah. Announcing the cash-crunch which could result in the cessation of the scheme, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) commissioner, Manjunath Prasad said, ‘This year, in 2019-20, since this is a state governmantt project, we had asked for Rs 210 crore budget but so far, this government has not released it. We had written two letters to the government but have not received any response so far, and now I have informed the council that we will have to discontinue the scheme’.  

No budget allocated for Indira Canteens at municipal level

The  BBMP claims that since this was a project initiated and funded by the then state government, the local municipal body has not earmarked funds for the same. The budgetary allocations were not included at the commencement of this fiscal year, thus including it now is not possible, they claim. Indira Canteens, modelled around the Amma Canteens in Tamilnadu, were started in 2017 to provide subsidised meals. Breakfast in these canteens are priced at Rs 5 and lunch, dinner at Rs 10.

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BJP government wants to probe into Indira Canteens

BBMP, over the last two years, has started over 174 Indira Canteens along with 15 mobile canteens. CM Yediyurappa has ordered a probe into the alleged financial misappropriation in running of Indira Canteens. The government claims that the contractors supplying food at Indira Canteens have been providing bills for over Rs 6.8 crores every month and that it is inconsistent with the record sheets.    

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Political fight between BJP and Congress 

A political fight has broken out over the negative limelight over Congress’ pet project with KPCC president calling the decision to probe by CM BSY as ‘politics of hate’. Dinesh Gundurao had threatened that if the subsidy scheme is discontinued, then the Congress party will protest on the streets of Bengaluru against the ‘anti-poor policies’, and added, ‘the BJP is targeting Indira Canteens because it is providing food for the economically weaker sections of the society’.  Siddaramiah too attacked CM Yediyurappa in a series of tweets. The  BJP has defended its decision as an administerial one, claiming that rampant corruption in the running of the canteens resulted in ordering a probe and there is no political motive to be attributed to the same.

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Congress' Siddaramaiah tweets attacking the BJP

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