IN A bid to counter the ruling Shiv Sena’s politics of subsidised food, the Opposition BJP in Maharashtra on Tuesday launched its own cheap lunch plate on the occasion of the death anniversary of Jana Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyaya. Priced at Rs 30, the “Deendayal Thali” will have more items than the Rs 10 “Shiv Bhojan Thali”, which was launched by the Sena-led State Government on January 26 to cater to the poor. The “Deendayal” lunch plate includes three chapatis, a bowl of rice, two vegetables, peanut chutney and mango pickle while the “Shivbhojan” thali comes with two chapatis, a vegetable (100 gm), 150 gms of rice, and a bowl of dal. The BJP has roped in women self help groups (SHGs) affiliated to the saffron party, for the thali scheme.
The lunch plate was launched in the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district. It will be made available across the state later, a BJP leader said. The “Deendayal thali” centre in Pandharpur is set up near the famous temple of Lord Vitthal. It was inaugurated by former minister Subhash Deshmukh. Maharashtra Textiles Minister and Congress leader Aslam Shaikh said the BJP has the “habit of copying such popular schemes launched by others”.