Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Tuesday tried to distance himself from the controversy over his refusal to clear a proposal to include eggs in anganwadi meals. All he wanted to do, he said, was include milk in the anganwadi menu.
“I don’t know who has started this talk about eggs. We never served eggs in anganwadis before. We will soon include milk in the menu,” Chouhan said in his first public reaction to The Indian Express story on his refusal to eggs.
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Sharing the dais with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the CM appeared to suggest that he never voiced his opposition to eggs because there was no such proposal.
However, there was a proposal in this regard after a meeting by the Women and Child Development department to discuss ready-to-eat breakfast for children in the 3-6 age group in anganwadis.
Chouhan reportedly told officials he could not clear the proposal because he had publicly declared that eggs would not be served in anganwadis as long as he was CM.
Explaining Chouhan’s refusal, Principal Secretary S K Mishra had told The Indian Express, “It has been a sentimental issue with the CM from Day One. Moreover, there are better, more nutritious options available.”
Last month too, Chouhan had said he was for milk, not eggs.
Chouhan’s assertion that eggs were never served in anganwadis is also misleading. He had himself launched Project Shaktiman in 2007 under which boiled eggs and boiled potatoes, among other things, were served in 45 anganwadis in Kesla block of Hoshangabad district.