The Indira canteen scheme of the Congress Government led by Siddharamiah in Karnataka was launched with much fanfare in August 2017. It was modelled on the Amma Canteen of Tamil Nadu. The then Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi personally inaugurated the first Indira Canteen and ate a meal for the sake of a photo-op. While speaking at the event, he called the ‘Indira canteen’ as ‘Amma canteen’, throwing media and people into splits of laughter. Currently, the Indira canteen scheme has been launched in 198 wards of Bangalore. It is planned to be launched in every district in future.
Karnataka Labor Forum lodges complaint
The Karnataka Labor Forum lodged a complaint with the DCP of anti-corruption bureau regarding a scam in Indira Canteen’s management. Members of the labor forum claim that they are working in 100 Indira canteens of Bangalore. The Chief Minister, Bangalore in-charge minister KJ George and other officials were named in the complaint. The complaint is dated 3.01.2018.
Complaint filed against Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Bangalore Development Minister K. J. George with ACB over the irregularities in Indira Canteen pic.twitter.com/pgX3lnXLZg
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The letter asked how could the government provide 150-200 meals and bill money for 400 to 500 meals. This number is to be accounted for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thus, there could be a scam of 600-700 meals per day. Since the cost paid by the government for the meal is 32 rupees, the figure stands at a minimum of Rs 19200 per canteen everyday. The extent of scam and exact numbers are still unknown.
The allegations in the complaint have to be investigated and guilty should be punished in this case. The Congress party is well known for looting money in the name of poor. The fact that Congress is not in power in any major state other than Punjab should also be noted. Will Siddharamiah launch an investigation into the allegations or not ? We will have to wait and watch.