BENGALURU: Even as the government said about 1.5 crore food packets are given to the needy twice a day, in addition to lakhs of ration kits, opposition parties have expressed apprehensions about the fairness of distribution. They alleged that food and ration kits are being distributed to voters of the ruling party, ignoring the “truly poor people,” an allegation Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar flatly denied.
Congress state president D K Shivakumar said his party workers are supplying 50,000-80,000 food packets and ration kits to the poor every day, while the government is diverting its supplies to the “functionaries of the ruling party.’’ JDS leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said his party is distributing ration and food from its own resources. “Each MLA and former MLA is distributing 60,000-80,000 kits. I am supporting them too,’’ he said.
With the opposition accusing the government of inaction in checking the “open sale of food and ration kits”, Hebbar said, “We are supplying 1.5 crore food packets twice a day. In addition, we are giving ration kits to workers. There is no truth in opposition allegations.’’ On complaints that Dasoha helpline number 155214 is not functional, he admitted that there were problems for about 4-5 days because of a surge in calls, “but now it is working.” Asked why workers should struggle to get their wages when there are strict labour laws, he said, “This is an unforeseen crisis. We are looking at the problem. We are treading cautiously.’’