The party may have till now opposed the ordinance route to food security – demanding that the issue be debated in Parliament and passed with amendments – but BJP on Thursday spelled out some concrete criticisms of the UPA’s food security idea.
Party president Rajnath Singh said UPA was just looking at the aspect of distribution without addressing production, adding that such an approach wouldn’t succeed.
“There should be provisions for production, procurement and distribution. There should be a clear strategy as to how a farmer’s per acre yield will go up. If you don’t increase production, what will you distribute to 67% of India’s population?” Singh said.
“A good MSP and remunerative prices are required for farmers. Who’ll ensure that?”
Singh added that clarity was required on what crop should be produced more. “Chemical fertilisers hike the input costs... all this needs to be discussed,” he added.
BJP has till now suggested it is open to passing a food security law with amendments, but has hit out at the government for taking the ordinance route to claim the authorship of the idea.
It has also projected the work of the Chhattisgarh government as the best standing example of food security.
The party is now extending its criticism to specifics of the UPA’s plan.
Singh claimed that as far as just addressing the aspect of distribution was concerned, the NDA had started a scheme distributing rice at Rs 3 a kg and wheat at Rs 2 a kg since 1998.
“Why did the government stop that?” he asked.
Singh repeated BJP’s criticism that there was no justification for an ordinance when the monsoon session is round the corner.
He added that if 67% Indians still needed to be fed because of food insecurity, Congress has to accept responsibility for it.
He charged that government was using the idea as “vote security” and “political security”, and wondered whether it had made any effort to bring the states on board.