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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Mulayam calls food bill a poll gimmick

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 26, 2013
First Published: 21:08 IST(26/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:02 IST(27/8/2013)

UPA's ally Samajwadi Party's leader Mulayam Singh Yadav questioned the government motive in bringing the food security bill, claiming that it has been done with an eye on elections.

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Participating the debate in the Lok Sabha, he said, "There is nothing for the poor. There should be clarity on the number of poor to be covered."

Echoing the demand of non-Congress chief ministers like Narendra Modi, Yadav said the Centre should have called the chief ministers of all states and taken their views into account before finalising the bill.

"You have to find out how many people are BPL. You need actual figures for that and I am sorry to say that you have none. There are no statistics on the number of poor in the country after 1997," he added.

Yadav said that the Centre should understand that the states are in a precarious financial situation.

"How much financial liability will the states have to bear because of this food security bill? From where will the states generate funds? There is no mention about that in the bill," he said.'

Yadav said it would badly hurt the farmers as there was no guarantee in the provisions that all the produce would be bought by the government. "Is there a guarantee that the farmers will have the right price for their produce and their land will be protected? The government should bring in amendments that ensure that every grain produced by the farmers will be bought by the government."

He said he would support the bill if certain amendments are moved.

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