PM's free ration scheme extension amid Chhattisgarh campaign is 'blatant' poll code violation: Congress

Addressing a poll rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh last week, Modi had said the government will extend for five years the free ration scheme, covering 80 crore poor people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Sidhi, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Sidhi, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of a five-year extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was a "blatant violation" of the model code of conduct as it was made in the midst of the Chhattisgarh election campaign.

The party also asked if the Election Commission would take note of it and act.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also said the five-year extension is not only a recognition of the "Prime Minister's flailing image" but also of the deepening economic distress and financial pain.

"A desperate Prime Minister announced a five-year extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana in the midst of the Chhattisgarh election campaign. This is a blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Will the @ECISVEEP take note and act?" Ramesh said.

"Now, it turns out that the Union Cabinet has not yet approved the extension. Actually, it is not surprising since this is how Mr.Modi functions. The Cabinet is a non-entity. First his announcement, then Cabinet approval. Recall, November 8, 2016?" he said.

In any case, the PMGKY is itself a rebranded and repackaged National Food Security Act, 2013 that as the chief minister, Modi had aggressively opposed, he claimed.

Addressing a poll rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh last week, Modi had said the government will extend for five years the free ration scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, covering 80 crore poor people.

"During COVID-19, the biggest concern of the poor was what they would feed their children...Then I decided that I would not let any poor sleep hungry. Hence the BJP government started the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana," he had said.

"Even today, lakhs of poor people have been getting free rice and gram under this scheme which is ending in December, but your son (referring to himself) who has come out from among you has decided....The BJP government will extend the free ration scheme for 80 crore poor people for the next five years," the PM had said.

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