The blame game over the food security bill continued on Saturday, with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi blaming the opposition again for stalling it in Parliament. The Opposition’s “politics of disruption” revealed their attitude towards the poor, he said.
“It is sad that the Opposition is acting against the interests of the poor. I can understand politics but I cannot understand political parties hurting the poor,” Gandhi said at a rally in Thiruvananthapuram.
The food security bill — which promises 5 kg foodgrain per head per month to 67% of the population at a fixed price of R3 per kg — has been stalled in the current session of Parliament.
On Friday, a day after Gandhi had blamed the Opposition, the BJP hit back, claiming the bill was actually “vote security bill” and if the government was serious about countering malnutrition it should follow the Chhattisgarh model. “The Congress wanted to pass such an important bill in a din as it is not ready to face discussion,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar had said.
In response to the charge, Gandhi said the UPA government has been planning the bill for years. “We are committed. We will ensure that no single Indian goes to sleep hungry. The Opposition is trying its best to block this. It doesn’t matter what they do, but we are committed to implement this all-important legislation,” he said.
The proposed legislation, he said, was as important as that of the Right to Information Act.
With the rally being held on the eve of the second anniversary of Congress-led UDF government, Gandhi also took a dig at the CPI(M)-led LDF opposition in Kerala.
Asking them to take a lesson from China, he said, “China has a different view of Communism (now) from what they used to have. The rest of the world has given up Communism”.