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Siddaramaiah questions Centre over denial of rice to Karnataka, calls BJP "inhumane"

Tumakuru: Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government of being anti-poor and inhumane, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday urged the people of the state to not vote for the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The statement was made by the Karnataka CM at an event that was held at Madhugiri in Tumakuru district to celebrate the completion of 10 years of the 'Ksheera Bhagya' scheme, which offers milk to government schoolchildren every day.
Calling the BJP despicable, Siddaramaiah said the ruling party denied rice to the people of Karnataka. He said that when he became the chief minister of the state, he had written to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to supply rice for the Anna Bhagya scheme. The FCI had assured that it would provide rice, but the centre denied it, he said.
"We trusted them, but the centre denied us rice. Is the BJP pro-poor? They are not. We did not ask for rice for free. We were ready to pay for it. We were ready to pay 36 rupees (per kg) for the rice. When we asked for rice, they agreed and then backtracked. All of you must decide how despicable they are. They are anti-poor. They are inhumane," he said.
"Before the election, when I was the CM in my previous government, I was giving you more than 5 kg of rice, but the BJP had reduced free rice to just 5 kg. We wrote to the Food Corporation of India to purchase rice from them. They replied to us, saying they had plenty of rice to sell. They assured us that they were ready to provide the rice. But the BJP denied it," he added.
On July 10, the Karnataka government launched the Anna Bhagya scheme for only those belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL). Under this scheme, the state government distributes money instead of rice.
Under this scheme, an amount of Rs 170 is given to beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in return for an additional 5 kg of rice. The Anna Bhagya scheme was among the five poll promises that the Congress had made to the people ahead of the elections.

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