West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (Image credit: The Hindu)

Ahead of poll, Mamata launches Maa Canteen scheme

In another pre-election sop West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday launched Maa Canteen scheme for the people of West Bengal. It will provide nutritious food at the rate of just Rs 5 per plate. The dish would consist a plate full of rice, dal, cooked vegetables and a boiled egg. The scheme is being compared with the Indira Canteen of Karnataka and Amma Canteen of Tamil Nadu.

The Indira Canteen was launched by the Government of Karnataka on 15 August, 2017 when Siddaramaiah of Congress was the chief minister of the state. On the other hand, the Amma Canteen was initiated on 24 February, 2013 when the late J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. This was the first such scheme to be launched in the country.

It is evident that the name Maa has been deliberately chosen because it resonates with the people of West Bengal. It needs to be mentioned that in 2011 Mamata Banerjee came to power for the first time on the slogan of Ma Mati Manush. The term translates as Mother, Motherland and People.

Ms Banerjee, at the launch of the event said, “This is the Maa Kitchen. We are proud of our Maa (mother). Wherever there is Maa, things will be good. We salute all mothers.”

Earlier the West Bengal government had announced two pro-poor flagship schemes viz Duarey Sarkar (Government at Doorstep) and Swasthya Sathi (health insurance). In the Vote-on-Account presented on February 5 her government increased the annual amount to be paid under Krishak Bandhu Yojana from Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000. Each farmer having one acre or more land will get this amount.

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