Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday described the food security bill as “historic” and asked party leaders to publicise and take its message to the ground.
“We have given the people a right. You prepare them to fight for their legal entitlement. Nobody will sleep hungry in the country once this is fully implemented,” Gandhi was quoted as having said at a meeting on the food security issue.
The Congress, he added, after fulfilling commitments such as Right to Education, Right to Information, Right to Employment (MNREGA), Right to Identity (Aadhar), has now brought Right to Food.
The meeting, which had state chiefs and legislature party leaders of all states in attendance, was also addressed by Union ministers Jairam Ramesh and KV Thomas. A number of state leaders demanded that the law be named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi to prevent the opposition-ruled states prefixing their names to the flagship scheme billed as a “game changer”.
They cited the example of rural employment guarantee programme NREGA which was later renamed MNREGA after Mahatma Gandhi as many non-Congress ruling states were trying to take credit for the scheme, which is popular for its outreach.
To concerns over anomalies in the PDS system, Gandhi expressed confidence that legal right would fix the loopholes in the existing institutions.