Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a BJP leader, sounded the poll bugle on Sunday by announcing that poor families under the Mukhyamantri Annapurna Yojna would get wheat at Rs 1 per kg and rice at Rs 2 per kg.
Around 35 million people, almost half the state's population, will benefit from this. They include 800,000 Antyodaya (poorest of the poor) and other 5.6 million families below the poverty line (BPL). This decision will put a burden of Rs 360 crore on the state exchequer.
Wheat, rice and iodised salt, also at Rs 1 per kg, will be provided from June 1. At present, wheat is given at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg for Antyodaya families while for BPL families it is Rs 3 per kg for wheat and Rs 4.50 per kg for rice.
The polls in the state are slated to take place towards the end of the year.