BJP helping Cong win a few Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka!

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Bangalore, July 10: The Congress government in Karnataka today launched an ambitious programme to supply 30 kg of rice at Re one to nearly one crore poor families and this possible because of a BJP government.

The initial supply of 25,000 tonnes of rice for the scheme is coming from the BJP-ruled state of Chhattisgarh. The rice is being sold Rs 23.30 kg.

This proves that in business there are rivals. The scheme may help the Congress win a few Lok Sabha seats in 2014 elections.

While the BJP in Karnataka sees this as a bid to woo poor people ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP in Chhattisgarh is helping the Congress.

The programme called Anna Bhagya will cost Karnataka Rs 4,200 crore a year and because of this amount the Opposition BJP in the state had called the programme a "hasty decision" without doing home-work.

But the BJP government in Chhattisgarh has no problems as it gets susbstantial cash, upfront.

The "Anna Bhagya" scheme was unveiled today by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bangalore while in-charge ministers did so in district headquarters.

The scheme, which Congress promised in its manifesto ahead of May 5 Assembly elections, was originally planned to be implemented from June 1, but postponed due to problems relating to supply.

Siddaramaiah in his address at the launch function said to implement any pro-poor scheme it is necessary that the government shows urgency. "Can the government delay pro-people schemes," he asked.

He also refuted the Opposition's claims that the scheme is being implemented in a haste in view of the Lok Sabha polls.

"We haven't taken this decision in view of Lok Sabha polls but in view of Congress tradition of helping the needy," he said.

The chief minister also said instead of pondering over the huge sum of money to be spent on the implementation of the scheme, it is important to give food to the poor who struggle even to get two meals in a day.

"The government is there for giving justice to the deprived and the hungry," he said. On criticism that the beneficiaries would become lazy, he said "If that is so, have people of Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh become lazy. Their states also have introduced similar schemes. These are baseless and politically-motivated statements."

Eighty-seven lakh BPL cardholders and 11 lakh "Anthyodaya Anna Yojane" beneficiaries are covered under the scheme under which single member cardholders would get 10 kg per month, two-member ones 20 kg and three and above would get a maximum of 30 kg.

Heavy dose of taxes likely in Karnataka

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah may announce plans to raise additional resources as he presents the Congress government's "fresh budget" on Friday.

Siddaramaiah, who has presented as many as seven budgets while serving as Finance Minister in the J H Patel and Dharam Singh governments, devoted considerable amount of time in pre-budget consultations in the past few days to give shape to government's policies and priorities.

The Chief Minister, who has kept the Finance portfolio with himself, is said to have weighed several options, including raising road tax on four-wheelers, generating funds by regularising constructions which violated building norms and increasing guidance value of land.

The government has the imperative to marshal additional resources to fund subsidy schemes like 'Anna Bhagya'.

The previous BJP government had presented the 2013-2014 budget and taken a vote of account for the expenditure to be incurred for four months ending July 31 this year.

Both Houses of the State Legislature are slated to have sessions from July 12 to July 31.

OneIndia News

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