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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

BJP won't oppose food security bill: Rajnath

PTI  Nagpur, July 06, 2013
First Published: 15:16 IST(6/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:17 IST(6/7/2013)

Terming the ordinance promulgated by union Cabinet to implement Food Security Bill as a "cruel joke" on democracy, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Saturday said his party would not oppose the passage of the bill in Parliament but seek amendments to it.

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"We will not oppose it (the Bill) in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament but want certain amendments in it," Rajnath told reporters after meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the sangh headquarters in Nagpur.

However, he did not elaborate what amendments BJP was proposing.

Questioning the delay in bringing the bill, Rajnath said, "Why the UPA-led Congress government took so long in passing the bill and that too through the ordinance route even though it had promised to bring the Bill within 100 days of coming to power after 2004 elections".

The scheme aims at providing 5 kg grain per person per month to 67% of the country's population at the rate between Re 1 and Rs. 3 per kg.

The scheme is likely to benefit 800 million people and the government will have to spend Rs. 1,25,000 crore on the scheme, making it the biggest food security programme in the world.

After the Cabinet approval on Wednesday, President Pranab Mukherjee signed the ordinance on Friday.

"What was the hurry in bringing the ordinance on the bill when the monsoon session of Parliament is round the corner? Taking the ordinance route is nothing but a cruel joke on democracy," Rajnath said.

To a query on whether BJP will stall the monsoon session, Rajnath shot back, saying "we did not stall it".

"Congress should only be held responsible for disruptions in Parliamentary proceedings," he said.

Downplaying his visit to the Sangh headquarters, which came close on the heels of the visits by veteran leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath said he held routine discussion with Mohan Bhagwat and nothing much should be read into it.


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