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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Cong to blow DBT, food bill trumpets in UPA report card

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 12, 2013
First Published: 01:15 IST(12/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(12/4/2013)

The Congress will trumpet direct benefits transfer (DBT) and food security bill as major game-changers in the fourth and final annual UPA report card even as it was on a shaky ground after having lost two big allies in the past six months.

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The annual report to the People – to be released on the fourth anniversary of UPA-II on May 22 – will also talk about the land acquisition and the right of citizens for time-bound delivery of goods and services and redressal of their grievances bills, sources said.

While the DBT is at the implementation stage in 43 districts across the country and will go up to 120 from July 1, the food security bill is expected to be introduced in the second half of the ongoing budget session.

Similarly, the public services delivery bill would be taken up for passage by Parliament, the government is trying hard to build consensus on the politically-sensitive land acquisition bill the draft of which has already seen about 160 amendments.

Since its third anniversary last year, two key UPA constituents – Trinamool Congress with 19 Lok Sabha MPs and the DMK that has 18 MPs in the lower house – have deserted the Congress-led central government.

This has increased the Congress party’s dependence on outside supporters – Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 22 and 21 Lok Sabha MPs, respectively.

But of late, the SP appears to be acting pricey and has been breathing fire against the Congress. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has kept the Congress on tenterhooks about his future moves and at the same time has sounded his party workers and leaders about the possibility of general elections being advanced to November.

But Yadav had surprised many on May 22 last year by attending the third anniversary of UPA.

That time, the SP chief left nobody in doubt that his party is clearly on the Congress’ side when he first shared the dais with UPA allies and later sat at the high table with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence.


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