Congress-led UDF MLAs, MPs decline to accept free Onam kits in Kerala

Congress-led UDF MLAs, MPs in Kerala decline to accept free Onam kits from state-run SupplyCo. Poor people are not getting the kits, so the UDF representatives are not going to accept them either.
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress-led UDF opposition on Monday said its MLAs and MPs will not accept the free Onam kit given to them by the state-run Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation or SupplyCo as it is popularly known.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan alleged that due to the financial crisis the state was facing, all the poor people were not getting the kits and therefore, the people’s representatives from the UDF are not going to accept it either.

“However, not all of the poor persons have received the free kits. Therefore, the UDF MLAs and MPs will also not accept the free kit which is not being given to the common and poor persons. Supplyco has been informed about this,” he said.

The state government on August 16 had said that it has decided to provide over six lakh free Onam kits to poor families and residents of welfare institutions in Kerala for the festival this year.

Of the 6,07,691 kits to be distributed, 5,87,691 will go to Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) card holders and the remaining 20,000 to residents of welfare institutions, it had said.

The kit contains tea, whole and split varieties of green gram, semolina payasam mix, ghee, cashew nuts, coconut oil, sambar powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, toor dal, powdered salt and a cloth bag, the statement said.

Earlier in July, State Finance Minister K N Balagopal had indicated that the Kerala government, which was facing a financial crisis, was unlikely to distribute free kits containing essential food items to ration cardholders in all categories during the upcoming Onam season.

Free Onam food kits containing 14 items were distributed to all ration cardholders during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Onam season last year.

There are four categories of ration cardholders in the state including Antyodaya Anna Yojana cardholders (yellow card), Priority Household cardholders (pink card), Non-Priority Subsidy cardholders (blue) and the Non-Priority Non-Subsidy card holders (white).

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