Defending the state government's move of extending the populist 'Namma Canteen' scheme which will be named after late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Congress Working President and spokesperson, Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “The opposition will always criticise the government schemes, but we need to have a clear focus on what we do.”

 

"The opposition is saying that Namma Canteen is the populist scheme of the Congress to woo voters in the next elections. There is nothing wrong in mentioning the programmes government has implemented, before the public," he said.

 

He also added that the scheme would first cover all urban areas in Bengaluru. The migrant workers and poor come to the City in search of work, healthcare and trade. If they get good food for less than Rs 10, they will have faith in the administration. "The same model will be replicated all over the state, especially near bus terminus, government hospitals, railway stations, schools and colleges where more public will gather," said Rao.

 

The source in the Karnataka Congress Pradesh Committee said the government aims at cornering BS Yeddyurappa and BJP in the 2018 assembly election. There is an immediate need to bring popular schemes and plans to win voters. Hence, Siddaramaiah has decided to implement more such schemes.

 

"His idea to name the scheme after Indira Gandhi was to ensure that he scores brownie points from the high command. By this move, he will surely be named as the contender for the coveted post of CM in next election as well," added the source.

 

However, the BJP which is hoping to dent into Congress votes is keenly observing the developments and is of the opinion that schemes should not be used to attract the voters. "We welcome this move, but we are sceptical about the implementation of the schemes. The BBMP has no place in 100 wards to set up these canteens. BBMP needs to run these canteens on rent. It is a challenge before the government,” said Prakash, BJP Spokesperson.

 

“We will have to wait and watch about the quality and quantity of the food served in these canteens," he added.