Rs 2 per kg rice scheme hangs in balance

The Food and Civil Supplies department is in dilemma whether or not to implement the scheme to provide rice at Rs two per kg to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in view of the model code of conduct in force ahead of the Assembly elections.

The department is learnt to have urged the Chief Secretary S V Ranganath to clarify whether it can implement the scheme, which the ruling BJP announced with an aim to please about 80 lakh BPL families ahead of the polls.

Official sources said the government order giving effect to the scheme has been issued on March 18 (two days prior to the announcement of the poll dates).

But the department is not sure whether its implementation would amount to violation of model code of conduct.

The government had decided to formally launch the scheme at a public programme on March 21 at Koppa in Chikmagalur district.

Against conduct

However, the Office of Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, directed the Deputy Commissioner of the district to cancel the programme as it was against the code of conduct.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevraj had claimed that the scheme can be implemented as the government order was issued much before the announcement of the elections.

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