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Midway elections, Congress chief takes party by surprise, says will double ration for poor to 10 kg

More than halfway through the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress Wednesday announced a new poll promise — if voted to power, the INDIA bloc will give 10 kg free ration every month to the poor, doubling the BJP government’s 5 kg scheme.

The Congress manifesto ahead of elections was silent on free ration, and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s announcement surprised many leaders in the party.

Criticising the BJP for claiming credit for distributing free ration, Kharge said, “We brought the food security Act where anyone could go to court if it was stopped. You gave nothing, but still talk about feeding 80 crore people. If you are giving 5 kg ration, when our alliance government comes to power, we will give 10 kg,” he said in a press conference held jointly with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow.

Just days ago, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the BJP of making people “dependent” and not  “independent” by handing them over free foodgrains. Addressing a public meeting in Rae Bareli, Priyanka  said, “This 5 kg ration would not fill anyone’s stomachs. It’s good you get it, but this will not make you self-reliant or brighten your future. When I ask the youth what they would prefer, 5 kg ration or a job, you will choose a job, right? Because a job will earn you income, and make you self-reliant. So you have to understand that a political party framing policies that make you dependent and not self-reliant, its policy is not right.”

But Congress leaders The Indian Express spoke with admitted that the free ration scheme of the Narendra Modi government is being talked about on the ground. In fact, claiming credit for the free foodgrains scheme, Rahul Gandhi had at a rally in Jhansi on Tuesday

Read more on indianexpress.com