Rahul Gandhi inaugurated Indira Canteens in Bengaluru on Wednesday, saying even the “poorest and the weakest in the city cannot go hungry now”. The Congress vice-president, accompanied by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other party leaders, also had a meal at the canteen following the inauguration.
However, following promises of hygienic food at cheap rates, Gandhi’s speech was punctuated by several faux pas. He initially confused the Indira Canteens with the Amma Canteens of Tamil Nadu, from where the idea was perhaps borrowed. “In a matter of a few months, poor people across most cities in Karnataka will be able to eat in these Amma…er…Indira canteens,” Gandhi said.
Although Gandhi swiftly corrected the error, the speech had other such moments too — the most memorable of which was his vision of alleviating hunger from “every single city” in the capital city of Bengaluru.
He said, “The chief minister has mentioned to me that Bengaluru is just the beginning. Soon, over the next couple of months, every single city in Bengaluru, every single poor person in every single city in Bengaluru, will feel that in the state of Karnataka, under Siddaramaiah government, ‘I simply cannot go hungry.'”
Besides the one in Jayanagar, 100 other canteens will be opened on Wednesday for dinner, which will be served free of cost to all on the first day, the chief minister said in a statement, calling the launch a “historic day” for Karnataka.
In the initial phase of the launch, 101 canteens will daily serve a vegetarian breakfast at Rs 5 per plate and lunch and dinner at Rs 10 each in 101 civic wards.
“Today is a historic day for Karnataka in our fight against hunger and malnutrition with Indira Canteens being launched across Bengaluru”, the chief minister said.