Is Siddaramaiah government playing with the lives of BPL families? Medical studies conducted over the years indicates that the rice distributed under 'Anna Bhagya' scheme - Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's pet project -  is taking a toll on their health, as it has little to no nutrition at all. Interestingly, the same revelation was made by TB Jayachandra, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs.

Jayachandra expressed concern over these facts while interacting with media persons during the cabinet sub-committee meeting convened to finalise the price of Tur Dal in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

According to Jayachandra, the rice provided under the scheme is polished, and thus there is very little protein in it. "Of the estimated 1.08 lakh beneficiaries, at least 30 to 40 per cent beneficiaries are suffering from anaemia. Besides, the consumption of polished rice on an everyday basis triggers diabetes and majority of beneficiaries have been diagnosed with," said Jayachandra, reports Vijay Karnataka.

In fact, the minister was quoting a report prepared by a panel of doctors from prestigious hospitals. The minister had initiated the survey in his constituency of Sira taluk to assess the success of the 'Anna Bhagya' scheme.

"A group of doctors from Jayadeva Hospital, BGS Global Hospital and other hospitals had done the health check up camp where it was found that at least 30 to 40 per cent of the people were suffering from anaemia and diabetes. It was shocking to note that more such cases are found among people who are below 40 years of age. This is being attributed to the consumption of polished rice, distributed through the Anna Bhagya scheme," the minister said. It would be better if the government provides tur dal which is full of protein with the rice, he observed. 

In fact, this is not the first time that Minister Jayachandra has made his reservations on government projects public. Earlier, he had criticised 'Patala Gange' project strongly advocated by his colleague and minister MB Patil to tackle the water crisis. 

Anna Bhagya' scheme is Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's flagship project under which BPL families are given free food grains, including rice, through the fair price shops. The families are eligible to get 30 kg of rice at Re one per kg, and there are 108.98 lakh beneficiaries. The scheme was estimated to cost Rs 4,400 crore to the state exchequer.