Bengaluru: The fight between the state units of BJP and the Congress over the issue of Anna Bhagya and Indira canteens has hit the skies.

While there are talks that the Yediyurappa government might reduce the quantity of rice being given to the poor under the Anna Bhagya scheme, there are also talks that the state government might not give funds for Indira Canteens.

Obviously, the alleged moves have not gone down too well with Siddaramaiah, the former chief minister, under whom the two schemes were launched.

In relation to the Anna Bhagya scheme, Siddaramaiah said, “Our government had launched the Anna Bhagya scheme. The scheme provides 7kg rice free to people living below the poverty line. It was to ensure that they would have meals twice a day. The BJP intends to reduce the distribution. They want they money that is saved (by the reduction) to be used for Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. That would be an anti-poor move if they decide to deprive the poor.”

And on the issue of Indira Canteens, he said, “Indira canteens were established to help the hungry. The BJP government is reported to have said that they can’t provide funds for the scheme and the BBMP has to fund it. The allocation for 190 Indira canteens would not go beyond Rs 200 crore. The state budget is worth Rs 2.34 lakh crore. Is it difficult for them to allocate Rs 200 crore? People have benefited significantly from the scheme.”

But the BJP pointed fingers back at the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

Chandrashekar, a BJP spokesperson said, “Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has said that at no cost will they disturb populist schemes which help the poor. This is the time of floods. So, we have to concentrate on the floods. The point is that the Congress is deliberately trying to rake this issue as it has no other issue to deal with. When HD Kumaraswamy was the chief minister, he himself had reduced the quantity by 2kg. But Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed had said he would go ahead and release 7kg. So, they themselves were confused.”