The Congress government on Wednesday indicated that it would include eggs in meals served to children at anganwadis, drawing a sharp reaction from the Opposition BJP.
Women and Child Development Minister Imarti Devi on Wednesday said the government was planning to introduce eggs in anganwadi meals to fight malnutrition. She added that eggs would also be served to pregnant women.
“Eggs will not be served to everyone but only to those who have no objection. What’s wrong in serving eggs to the malnourished children?” she asked, adding that the idea was to fight rampant malnutrition in the state. “Those who don’t eat eggs will be given milk and bananas,” she said.
The BJP however, said the move would be opposed strongly. BJP National general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said termed the move as interference in people’s religious beliefs.
When it was in power in the state, the BJP had not allowed eggs to be served in anganwadis though the proposal had been brought before the government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan. At the time, Chouhan had said he would not allow it as long as he was at the helm of affairs
Leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargava and BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma said they would oppose the decision because it was not proper to force vegetarians to eat eggs. “Forget eating eggs. Children and women don’t even touch them. Vegetarians will keep away from anganwadis. Instead of reducing malnutrition, the decision will increase it,” said Sharma.
Pankaj Pradhan, national general secretary of Jain organisation Tarun Kranti Manch said, “Not everyone is a non-vegetarian but everybody eats fruit and vegetables. You can’t introduce eggs in places of learning.”
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