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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Nitish backs food bill, denies alliance with Cong

Anil Kumar , Hindustan Times  Patna, July 15, 2013
First Published: 20:04 IST(15/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:10 IST(15/7/2013)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said his party supported the UPA's food security bill, for which the Union government had promulgated an ordinance.

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"The government is within its right to promulgate an ordinance, although it would have been better if it was passed by Parliament after considering our concerns and viewpoints," the chief minister said.

"We are taking all steps for its implementation in the state," Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of his weekly Janata darbar, held on the premises of his official residence in Patna.

The food security ordinance provides for giving legal rights to 67% of the population to a uniform quantity of 5kg food grains at a fixed price of Rs. 1-3 per kg through ration shops.

Kumar, however, ruled out the possibility of the JD (U) having any electoral adjustment with the Congress, insisting nothing sould be read into the nod for its implementation in the state.

He was categorical in stating that there was absolutely no back channel parley going on between the JD (U) and Congress for poll alliance or seat adjustments.

"From where did you get the news?" he countered, when asked about speculation that the JD(U) was willing to leave half a dozen seats for its possible partner.

Kumar said that the food and civil supplies, urban and rural development departments had been told to prepare the ground for the food security ordinance implementation on a priority basis.

To a question whether the state government had submitted the list of Bihari victims of the devastation in Uttarakhand, the chief minister said a list was being prepared with inputs from districts.

As for the compensation to the families of those missing, the state government would follow the method adopted during Kosi tragedy and pay Rs. 2 lakh compensation - Rs. 1 lakh from the state government and a matching sum from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, after taking a declaration to this effect.

"We will send the information collated by us to the Uttarakhand government. However, it would be better if the July 15 deadline was relaxed by 15-20 days," he said.


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