By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 5, 2017: Political parties in Odisha appears to have begun a rat race to take credit for subsidised rice.

Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday stoked a fresh controversy over the issue of Re 1 per kg rice for the poor in the state by saying that it is actually a central scheme.

“This is actually a Central scheme in which the Centre contributes Rs 27 whereas the State gives only Rs 2. In such scenario, why the State government is making tall claims?”

The ruling BJD reacted very strongly saying that Javadekar is ignorant of the Constitution of India and federal system.

“Javadekar is probably ignorant about the Constitution of India and federal system. Distribution of foodgrains to people across the country is made under the provisions of the National Food Security Act. Under the federal system whatever amount is spent on this account is provisioned by the Finance Commission which is given to it by the residents of the State. So how come Modi or Central government have provided the money?” asked food supplies & consumer welfare minister Surjya Narayan Patro.

The minister further remarked that by adding some more money by way of subsidy to that from its exchequer Odisha government is providing rice at Re 1 a kilo to beneficiaries.

Patro claimed that none of the the BJP-ruled States were providing rice at Re 1 a kilo. “Rice is being provided under the National Food Security Act. Let Modi tell in which of the States ruled by BJP be it Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh or any other State, rice is being provided to beneficiaries at Re 1 a kilo like that in Odisha?” he asked.

Not to be left behind, the Congress claimed that subsidized rice provided to beneficiaries across the country and in the State as well was the outcome of the National Food Security Act brought by the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre during the UPA’s rule.

Senior Congress leader Narasimha Mishra made it very clear that the rice which is being provided to beneficiaries at subsidized rate in the country and in our State as well is neither ‘Modi rice’ nor ‘Naveen rice’.

“The Congress government at the Centre had brought NFSA and under its provisions Central government is providing rice at a subsidized rate of Rs 3 a kilo. After purchasing rice at Rs 3 per kilo the State government is providing Rs 2 per kg subsidy from its own exchequer and making it available to the people at Re 1,” Mishra remarked.