Bhargava’s statement went viral on Thursday on social media.(HT Photo)
Bhargava’s statement went viral on Thursday on social media.(HT Photo)

Mid-day meal eggs may turn kids into cannibals: Madhya Pradesh’s leader of opposition

BJP Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh assembly Gopal Bhargava said on Wednesday inclusion of eggs in the government’s mid-day meal may turn children into cannibals.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Bhopal
UPDATED ON NOV 01, 2019 05:31 AM IST

Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh assembly Gopal Bhargava said on Wednesday inclusion of eggs in the government’s mid-day meal may turn children into cannibals as several other BJP leaders questioned the intention.

Bhargava’s comment comes amid an ongoing tussle between the ruling party Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the government’s proposal to include eggs in the mid-day meal for kids in anganwadis across the state.

The state’s woman and child development (WCD) minister Imarti Devi said on Wednesday the government will give eggs to children in anganwadis across the state from the next month in a bid to tackle malnutrition.

“However, it’s at the conceptual level and the same will be offered on the advice of the doctors,” she had said.

Bhargava’s statement went viral on Thursday on social media.

“What else can we expect from a malnourished government? Today they are giving eggs. If it doesn’t solve the problem of malnutrition they will then give mutton and chicken to them…” Bhargava said while speaking to journalists during a visit to Raj Bhavan in Bhopal.

“Our culture prohibits non-vegetarianism. We can’t force anyone to eat (eggs). If we teach this right from the childhood they may end up becoming cannibals when they grow up,” he said.

The BJP’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who was in Bhopal on Wednesday, accused the Congress government of trying “interfere with belief and sentiments of people”.

“This would not be tolerated. We will oppose the move of the state government,” Vijayvargiya said.

Earlier, the BJP’s state unit vice-president Rameshwar Sharma said children could be given protein through other food items.

Sharma said the minister claimed that eggs would be given to the kids to tackle malnutrition but the fact was it would enhance the level of malnutrition.

The reason he gave was that children from vegetarian families might stop going to the anganwadi centres if eggs will be served. Hence, the BJP would oppose the government’s any such move, he said.

Madhya Pradesh has as many as 97,135 anganwadis across the state and 657,100 children from six months to six years are enrolled with these anganwadis as on March 31, 2019, according to a WCD department official.

Congress spokesperson of the state unit Bhupendra Gupta questioned Bhargava’s logic.

“Does Bhargava want to say that those who eat eggs, meat and chicken become cannibals? Do many BJP leaders and workers not eat non-veg food?” Gupta asked.

“His statement is absurd and highly condemnable and this shows how BJP leaders could stoop so low to oppose any good scheme of the Congress government,” he said.

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