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Enough food for poor, PM reassures

india Updated: Aug 29, 2009 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said India had sufficient food grain stocks to ensure no poor person remains hungry, despite a severe drought in many parts of the country.

“No one has control over a drought. It's a severe drought. If you look at numbers, it's in many parts (and naturally) it affects prices,’ Singh said.

“However there were sufficient food grain stocks and we can reinforce our Public Distribution System to such a level that no BPL family should be going hungry.”

He said the government was monitoring the situation closely and all steps to keep prices under control would be taken.

Singh also described the recent controversy over the 1998 Pokhran tests as “needless.” He said former president A P J Abdul Kalam has already clarified that the explosions were successful.
“A wrong impression has been given by some scientists which is needless. Kalam has clarified that the tests were successful,” Singh told reporters.

He was asked about former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist K. Santhanam’s statement that Pokhran-II was not a full success.

Santhanam, DRDO representative for the tests, had claimed that the thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb was of low yield and not the one that would meet India’s strategic objectives.

In his first comments on the turmoil in BJP, Singh said, "It (infighting in BJP) is not good. In a democracy, stability in political parties is necessary. If there is instability, it will have an impact on the country," he said.

On Indo-Pak relations Singh said while he favours good ties between the two countries, there are “some forces” in the neighbouring country that are thwarting attempts to improve relations. “I want our relations to improve...If relations between India and Pakistan improve, a lot of things can happen. I think border states like Punjab, Rajasthan and other states will benefit if relations improve,” the PM said at Ramsar.