The Karnataka state government has now decided to rename the Indira Canteens to ‘Maharshi Valmiki Anna Kuteera’. On Tuesday, Karnataka revenue minister R Ashoka said that the government will rename the canteens barring those in Bengaluru city.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, revenue minister R Ashoka said discussions were held with the chief minister in this regard and that the government was considering the change of name. The government was considering the change in name based on a request by former minister Rajugouda, the minister added.
Reportedly, this proposal is only for canteens outside Bengaluru. As Bengaluru city did not fall under the purview of Revenue ministry, a decision will be made by the Chief Minister on renaming the Indira Canteens in Bengaluru.
Following the proposal to change the name of Indira Canteen, a senior BJP leader said it was unfortunate that most schemes or projects by the Congress are named after members of the Gandhi family. “The name should be changed. We had proposed Annapoorna, which would have been apt,’’ he said.
Soon after Yediyurappa had taken oath as CM, there was a proposal to change the name of the canteen to Annapoorna. However, the Congress party had opposed the move.
In August this year, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had also directed officials to initiate a probe against the alleged discrepancies in subsidies issued to contractors for the Indira Canteens.
The Siddaramaiah government has introduced Indira Canteens in Bengaluru in August 2017. Initially, the canteens were just in Bengaluru but were later introduced to other parts of the state.
Former CM Siddaramaiah condemned the proposal, saying, “The BJP government’s intent to rename Indira Canteens shows it’s playing cheap politics. While we are proud of Maharshi Valmiki, Indira Gandhi was a leader of this nation and not restricted to the Congress. It is an absolute shame that the BJP is replacing her name with that of Maharshi Valmiki for political gains”.