Lucknow, December 12: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday launched the Nishulk Khadyan Vitaran (Free Food Grains Distribution) programme to provide free food to the poor in the state from Diwali to Holi next year.

The programme has been launched under the National Food Security Act.

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Addressing the occasion, the chief minister said, "The state government is taking forward the free ration distribution scheme of the prime minister today.

The world is under the third wave of the Corona pandemic. During the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out free food distribution scheme that benefitted 80 crore poor people. The scheme was started by the state government as well benefitting nearly 15 crore people. Uttar Pradesh government also distributed free food grains for a term of 3 months."

"The benefit of double food distribution of the double engine government should reach the needy, so the free food distribution scheme is being launched that would extend the free food distribution from Diwali to Holi," Yogi added.

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Yogi said that the Centre and the state are ready to fight the third wave of COVID-19 in case if it arrives in the country.

"During the second wave in the country, the Central government had started the free food distribution from Ram Navami to Diwali. At present, when there is suspicion over the third wave in the country, the Central, as well as the state governments, are ready to fight it," he said.

Alleging that the food used to be diverted from Uttar Pradesh to other states under the previous governments, he said that the scheme is being implemented in a transparent way under his government.

"The entire scheme is being implemented in a transparent way. Before 2017, the food used to go to the food mafia and this food used to be sent from Uttar Pradesh to some other state. During the rule of the previous government, death by starvation was seen," he said.

The scheme was launched in March 2020. Under PMGKAY, the Centre provides five kg rice or wheat free of cost to every poor person every month in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)