Bengaluru: The state government's move to rename Indira canteens is likely to cause controversy. Former CM Siddaramaiah had implemented the Indira Canteen project to cater to the hunger of the poor. Now speculations are rife that the BJP government has come forward to rename Indira canteens as "Maharishi Valmiki Annakutira".

Revenue minister R Ashoka had stated that after consultation with chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Indira Canteen will be renamed "Maharishi Valmiki Annakutira".

However, now CM Yediyurappa has contradicted R Ashoka’s statement. This has led to more confusion.

When quizzed about renaming Indira canteens, Yediyurappa said, “We have no plans to change the name of Indira canteens.”  

However, BJP spokesperson Shreenath Sheshadri clarified and stated, “Minister R Ashoka had only stated that we were thinking of changing the names and it was just a recommendation. However, today, chief minister Yediyurappa has himself clearly stated that Indira canteen won’t be renamed. Chief minister takes the final call and hence Indira canteen won’t be renamed.”

Congress leader Siddaramaiah reacting to the speculations of renaming of Indira canteens said, “I condemn the BJP government's move to change the name of Indira canteens and demand the immediate abandonment of such petty politics. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi won the war against poverty through the declaration of Garibi Hatao. She was not just a Congress party leader but a country heroine, a proletarian of the poor. This was the reason why it was named Indira Canteen.
 
He further added, “Poet Valmiki Maharishi’s name is being blasphemed by the BJP for its corrupt politics. It is a shame for the BJP government to embark on a project that would be worthy of Maharishi Valmiki's achievements. What the state BJP needs to change is not the name of Indira Canteen, but the small minds within it.”