'Namma canteen' becomes 'Indira canteen' in Bengaluru, BJP sees red
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday announced that subsidies canteens scheme that was announced in his budget speech will be named after former prime minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi. Siddaramaiah's decision to rename the canteens that were originally called 'namma canteen' has got the BJP fuming. While the BJP accused the Congress of appeasing the high command by naming the canteens after Indira, the Congress claimed that the scheme was named after a leader who worked for the poor.
The Congress government's decision to name the canteens after Indira evoked severe protests from the opposition parties. Opposition parties asked why the government felt the need to perpetuate the Nehru-Gandhi family's name for welfare schemes. "The Congress is back to showing its loyalty to the dynasty. There are 400 institutions named after one member of the dynasty or the other. The Bengaluru Metro is already named 'Namma Metro' and the canteens should have retained the 'Namma canteen' identity," said Suresh Kumar, spokesperson of the BJP.
The Congress, meanwhile, claimed that the BJP had introduced welfare schemes in the names of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay and they had not revoked the same.
"There is no question of renaming the canteen. The decision to call it Indira Canteen was taken during the Congress legislative party meet. All MLAs supported the name. We will go ahead with 'Indira canteen'. The BJP's criticisms do not matter," said Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah in his budget speech introduced subsidised canteens that would be set up in every ward of Bengaluru city. The 198 canteens would provide breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner at Rs 10. The scheme is aimed at providing quality food for the poor on the lines of Amma Canteen in Tamil Nadu. The Akshayapatra foundation has been roped in to ensure hygienic and timely food is delivered to these canteens that are expected to be inaugurated on May 1.