Rahul Gandhi inaugurates Indira canteen, breakfast for Rs 5 and meal for Rs 10
101 Indira canteen units will serve dinner at Rs 10 starting today. AICC vice President Rahul Gandhi inaugurated one unit of Congress' ambitious yet controversial Indira Canteen in Bengaluru. 100 other units will start dishing out meals from Wednesday evening.
Karnataka: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi launches 'Indira Canteen' in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/mCRdAY7JIh— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2017
"There can't be a single moment when a person in Bengaluru is hungry. None in this city should go hungry. I am proud that the Congress government has conceptualised this canteen. This program will be expanded to other cities," said Rahul Gandhi after inaugurating the unit. The AICC vice president addressed the canteen as Amma canteen initially but was quick to correct himself.
Leaders of the BJP including union ministers Nirmala Sitaraman, Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananda Gowda gave the launch a miss. The BJP, while claiming to support the scheme had opposed to the name 'Indira'. During his budget speech, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced the scheme as 'Namma canteen' but changed it to 'Indira canteen', a move that the opposition parties rejected.
Starting Thursday, all 101 units of the Congress' subsidised canteen program will serve breakfast at Rs 5, lunch and dinner at Rs 10. Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, BBMP officials and leaders of the Congress during the inaugural event. The scheme is aimed at achieving a 'hunger-free' Bengaluru.
Indira canteens on 101 wards of Bengaluru will operate between 7.30 AM and 9.30 PM every day and provide food at subsidised prices. Designed on the lines of Tamil Nadu's Amma canteen, the scheme is the Congress' masterstroke for the urban poor in an election year. The government even launched Indira canteen app, a mobile application that allows a user to look up menus, prices and timings.
Each unit of the canteen can be built within eight days with pre-cast technology. The BJP has slammed the Congress for rushing into the scheme to meet the deadline without consulting the public or opposition. Land acquisition for the canteen had turned into a controversy with opposition parties alleging that public parks, temple lands, heritage buildings and playgrounds were being encroached upon to build the units.
Despite all criticisms, the Karnataka government successfully launched the canteens with Rahul Gandhi inaugurating one of the units.Rahul Gandhi who addressed a public gathering later in the day launched an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking potshots at the BJP government for refusing to waive off farm loans, Gandhi claimed that he had to go on a tour for 30 days to collect 2 lakh signatures to ensure a loan waiver from BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.
"We are the protectors of the rights of farmers and we do not care what the BJP's policy is. Prime Minister spoke to the nation on August 15 and I was told it was the shortest speech. It was short because he has nothing to say. PM did not tell you about the job crisis in the country or about the death of children in Gorakhpur hospital," Rahul Gandhi said.