Women, in large numbers, queued up before the Mysuru Silk showroom of the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) in Nazarbad since Tuesday morning to buy the famed silk sarees at subsidised rates on the eve of the Gowri festival on Wednesday.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy inaugurated the sales to registered customers later in the afternoon. The sarees worth over Rs 10,000 are being sold at Rs 4,500 for the festive season.
The people also visited other KSIC showrooms in the city, enquiring about the much-awaited subsidised saree.
The women demanded that the showroom staff start the sales as they were waiting since 6 am. The staff of the showroom said they had received only 1,800 sarees of the subsidised variety with a direction that they should be sold by draw of lots.
“A copy of the Aadhaar cards of the women, the prospective buyers, will be received and tokens will be issued to them. The counterfoils of the tokens will be drawn at 3 pm, after the inauguration Kumaraswamy. Women are not agreeing and are demanding that sarees be distributed on first-come-first-serve basis,” they said. Police personnel were deployed to keep vigil.
Soon after being sworn in as Sericulture and Tourism Minister, Sa Ra Mahesh had announced that the subsidised sarees would be sold from the day of Varamahalakshmi festival. On that day, people visited the shops, only to be turned away saying the scheme had been postponed due to the model code of conduct for ULB elections. Finally, Kumaraswamy initiated the sale by distributing the sarees to women based on the seniority of registration. However, women were disappointed as they were not given a choice of colour or design and had to take saree packets issued randomly.