BJP toes AP Congress line on rice at Rs 2 per kg

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Bangalore, Apr 24 (UNI) With the Congress in Karnataka taking a cue from the DMK's popular colour TV scheme, now it is the turn of the BJP to draw inspiration from the populist scheme of Rs two per kg rice, launched by the Rajasekhara Reddy Government in Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP's 48-page election manifesto, released today by party election in-charge in the state Arun Jaitley, said the party would redefine poverty, if it came to power, by recognising families with an annual income of up to Rs 30,000 as extremely poor and up to Rs 60,000 as poor.

It promised various benefits for these families, besides rice at subsidised price for the extremely poor.

At present, families with an annual income of less than Rs 11,800 were considered poor inspite of the steep rise in the cost of living, denying access to a large number of people with low income even the basic needs of life, it said, adding the BJP guaranteed Right to Food as a necessary ingredient of the Right to Life.

Holding the Congress responsible for the spiralling prices of essential commodities, the party said, ''The poor in particular are deeply distressed by the price rise and top priority for the BJP is, therefore, to provide the basic need of food.'' Notably, the DMK was catapulted to power in neighbouring Tamil Nadu in the May 2006 Assembly elections owing to its poll promise of distributing colour TV sets to people living below the poverty line.

The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, led by Dr Reddy, had launched the Rs two per kg rice scheme on Telugu New Year's day this year.

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