INTENSIFYING IT’S attack against Narendra Modi government, the Trinamool Congress on Monday took out a rally in Kolkata to protest against its decision to deny mid-day meal to students who do not have Aadhaar cards. Members of TMC’s women wing took out the protest march and demanded withdrawal of the Centre’s decision. CM Mamata Banerjee on Saturday had also condemned the Centre’s decision of making Aadhaar mandatory for availing the mid-day meal scheme. TMC leader and former state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said that this is completely an anti-people decision and should be withdrawn immediately. “One cannot distinguish students based on if they have Aadhaar card or not. This is absurd and impractical,” she said.
Echoing similar sentiments, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said: “The Centre is taking away food from children. This is really unfortunate. They are innocent children who should be given more care and affection.”
TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O’ Brien said that the party will raise the issue in the Parliament session to begin on March 9.
The CPM, too, slammed the Centre for the “inhuman decision”.
“Such decision will deny mid-day meal to a large number of students coming from poor backgrounds. With the help of this inhuman decision, the government wants to exclude some students from the mid-day meal programme. If our CM is serious about taking the matter with the central government, then she should send an all-party delegation of state MLAs to Delhi,” said CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee Monday said that children studying in schools run by Kolkata Municipal Corporation will not require any identity proof to get mid-day meal.
“Mid-day meal will not stop, we will not let it stop,” Chatterjee said.
With inputs from PTI