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To protest Centre for ‘denying’ rice, Karnataka Congress will organise large protest

The BJP-led Central government is ‘denying’ rice for the State’s ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme, which provides 10 kg of rice to each member of households living below the poverty line. On Tuesday, the Congress in Karnataka will protest this decision across all district headquarters.


Recently, the Centre stopped selling wheat and rice to state governments through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). The sale of wheat and rice under the OMSS (domestic) for state governments is halted, per a Food Corporation of India (FCI) directive. However, it stated that the OMSS would continue to sell rice at the current pricing of Rs 3,400 per quintal to northeastern regions, hilly areas, and states experiencing law and order issues and natural disasters.


The decision was made in the midst of delayed monsoon progress and rising rice and wheat prices. According to government data, rice prices at the mandi level have grown by up to 10% over the past year and by 8% over the past month.


The protest, according to D K Shivakumar, the state president of the Congress and deputy chief minister, is in retaliation for the federal government ‘upsetting the state government by denying rice.’ ‘The Centre has decided to trouble us so that we cannot give rice to the poor people. We are not asking them to give us rice free of cost. There has been a system from the beginning. If there was rice in the central warehouses, it was given to those demanding it,’ Shivakumar told reporters here.


‘We will stage a demonstration across all the district headquarters in the state tomorrow. We have asked our leaders to participate. I will also participate in the agitation in Bengaluru,’ he said.


The state requires 2.28 lakh metric tonnes of rice, according to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, to complete its ‘guarantee’ policy of 10 kg grains under the Anna Bhagya scheme. ‘Only Chhattisgarh has offered us 1.5 lakh metric tonnes. Nowhere else rice in such a huge quantity is available, including Punjab,’ Siddaramaiah told reporters.


He emphasised that the state administration had written to the Food Corporation of India on June 9 in regards to the state’s need for rice. On June 12, the FCI gave a favourable response, stating that it had enough rice to satisfy Karnataka’s demand.



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