July 02, 2023

Demonstrations across Karnataka as CPI(M) Opposes Union Government's Anti-Poor Policies

ON June 20, CPI(M) units across Karnataka organised protest demonstrations in opposition to the union government's directive to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) prohibiting the sale of rice to state governments. The union government's decision was widely seen as an effort to impede the expansion of the Anna Bhagya scheme, a key electoral promise made by the Congress party. Protests were held in numerous district centres throughout Karnataka, including Bangalore, Kalburgi, Mandya, Mysore, Ballari, Bagepalli, Kolar, Koppala, and Chitradurga. During these demonstrations, effigies symbolising the "demon of anti-poor policies of the union government" were set ablaze.

The Anna Bhagya scheme, one of the five guarantees pledged by the Congress party, aimed to double the quantity of free rice provided to families holding below poverty line (BPL) and Antyodaya ration cards, increasing it from 5 kg to 10 kg per person per month. The Karnataka Congress government formally requested additional rice supply from the FCI, which was confirmed in writing by the FCI. However, the union government intervened by instructing the FCI to cease selling rice to state governments, effectively obstructing the Congress party from fulfilling its electoral commitment.

The CPI(M) state committee strongly condemned the actions of the union government, characterising them as a manifestation of "narrow-minded politics". The committee demanded an immediate withdrawal of the instruction to the FCI, enabling state governments to procure the required rice. Furthermore, the CPI(M) urged its units to burn effigies representing the "demon of anti-poor policies of the union government" as a form of protest during the demonstrations.