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'Follow SC grain order'

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:03 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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On a day the Supreme Court ordered the free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in godowns, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in the Lok Sabha that the Centre will honor the decision of the courts.

Responding to an impromptu discussion on the subject, Pawar said he would come up with a detailed discussion after reading the "authentic order".

The court had on August 12 asked the Centre to consider free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in godowns.

Discussions on the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 were suddenly hijacked in the Lok Sabha when Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj got up to inform the House about the Supreme Court verdict on the issue of rotting foodgrains.

"It is abundantly clear now that that the Supreme Court had "directed" and not "advised" the Centre to distribute free foodgrains to the poor, she said.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said the UPA government must replicate the NDA government's example of having distributed foodgrains to drought-struck Rajasthan. "Drought and flood situations are prevalent in about half a dozen states. The government must immediately distribute the food grains free."

Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) said several districts in UP and Bihar were facing both drought and flood situations.

Lalu Prasad (RJD) said the government must either implement the Supreme Court directions, or quit. Earlier, Akali Dal and BJP members created uproar, forcing the first adjournment of the house on the issue.

Raising the issue, Harsimrat Kaur (Akali Dal) objected to the decision over rejection of 40 lakh tonnes of rice variety PAU-201 by the Food Safety Standards Authority.

Kaur's calling attention earlier had generated heat in the House with Akali Dal members twice trooping into the well, dissatisfied over Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's reply.

Azad had said that the report of the expert committee on PAU-201 rice variety was likely to be submitted by the second week of September.