Thiruvananthapuram: Starting from September, everyone below the poverty line (BPL) in Kerala will get 25 kg of rice at Re.1 per kg, one of the main promises of the United Democratic Front's election manifesto.

Defence Minister AK Anthony launched the flagship programme of the Oommen Chandy government on Saturday and handed over rice to five people.

In brief remarks, he regretted the gap between good intent and implementation.

'Even to get a programme of the government implemented, palms have to be greased,' Anthony said. 'The stage is such and there is strong resentment to this across the country.'

Kerala has 7.4 million ration card holders in the state. Of these, 2.1 million are below the poverty line who get rice for Rs 2 per kg under a programme of the former Left Front government.

'We expect to bring another 1.2 million card holders under the scheme,' Chandy said at the launch. 'We expect that October onwards the number of beneficiaries will touch 3.3 million.'

(Agencies)