Kolkata, March 4 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday termed as shocking the central government's decision to link Aaadhaar card with the midday meals programme in schools.

"Now even infants (0-5 years) will need Aadhar cards? Aadhaar card for mid-day meals and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme)? Shocking! 100 Days' Work also not spared," she tweeted.

The Human Resources Development Ministry earlier this week came up with a notification making it mandatory for students to have an Aadhaar number for getting their midday meals.

The cook-cum-helpers engaged in preparing the meals for the scheme would also now be required to have Aadhaar cards.

Excepting Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalya and Assam, all other states and union territories would have to adhere to the new rule.

However, those not yet enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme have been given time till June 30.

Protesting against the decision, Banerjee said in another tweet: "Instead of helping the poorest of the poor, the downtrodden and our favourite children, why are their rights being snatched away?"

She also alleged that individuals were losing their privacy because of Aadhaar.

"In the name of Aadhaar, privacy is being lost and there is extortion. Why is this Govt so negative? As a nation, we must condemn this," she added.