The opposition Monday hit out at the Congress government for including eggs in the midday meal scheme for children of state-run schools. Raising the issue in the Assembly, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) legislative party leader Dharmjeet Singh said a large section of Kabir Panth followers were opposing the inclusion of eggs in the mid day meals in the state.
“When the state government can advise to consume eggs as nutritional supplement, tomorrow it can also ask to eat beef. The move is being opposed in various districts like Mungeli, Kawardha and Balodabazar.
The state government should withdraw eggs from the mid-day meal scheme and replace it with other nutritional supplements,” Singh said. In reply, state Congress chief Mohan Markam and party MLA Brihaspat Singh said the decision was taken to fight malnourishment among children, mostly living in tribal and backward areas. Accusing the opposition of making it an issue with political motives, Markam and Singh said vegetarian students are free to skip eggs in their meal.
BJP MLA Shivratan Sharma
The malnourishment rate is around 40 per cent in the state and egg is a good source of protein which will help improve their health, the Congress maintained. BJP MLA Shivratan Sharma said a large section of the state’s population follows Kabir Panth and they were opposing it as it was against their customs. The state government should respect their sentiments, he said.
The debate soon led to sloganeering, following which Speaker Charandas Mahant adjourned the House for five minutes.An official said the distribution of eggs once a week in the mid-day meal scheme began last month and Congress leaders have asked that it be increased to three days a week. Recently, a large number of Kabir Panthis (followers of 15th century saint Kabir) had staged a protest in Kabirdham district and submitted a memorandum to the collector demanding that eggs be removed from mid-day meal to students.