CM launches Re 1 kg rice scheme on Anna's birth anniversary

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Chennai, Sep 15 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today launched 'One Rupee a Kg Rice Scheme,' a 'revolutionary scheme' in memory of his Mentor and Former Chief Minister C N Annadurai even as the DMK Government kick-started the centenary celebrations of the Dravidian stalwart who helped party storm to power in 1967 ending decades of Congress rule in the State.

Mr Karunanidhi launched the scheme at R K Nagar Constituency in the city, fulfilling the dream of his mentor, affectionately called 'Anna,' who announced the scheme in the run-up to the 1967 Assembly elections but could not implement it fully on coming to power due to practical difficulties. Anna died a year after becoming Chief Minister.

The DMK Government was already providing rice at Rs two a kg at fair price shops. The further subsidised rice would benefit 1.86 crore cardholders in the State.

The government was already incurring a food subsidy of more than Rs 1,950 crore on food items supplied in fair price shops and the new scheme would entail the government an additional burden of Rs 400 crore.

When the DMK promised to provide rice at Rs two per kg in its election manifesto for the 2006 Assembly elections, Opposition parties described it as a political gimmick and launched a counter campaign saying it was aimed at hoodwinking the voters.

However, Mr Karunanidhi on assuming office as Chief Minister for the record fifth time on May 13, 2006, surprised the entire nation when he fulfilled the election promise.

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